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    German minister calls on Greece to 'roll up its sleeves'

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    Greece should work more to overcome its debt crisis, Germany's Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said on Friday.

    Greece should work more to overcome its debt crisis, Germany's Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said on Friday.

    Roesler is head of a business delegation which arrived in Athens to consider investment opportunities in Greece amid a large-scale privatization program launched by the government to overcome its budget deficit and replenish state coffers. Germany is Greece's main bailout donor.

    "We are living in a hard time, not only for Greece and Europe, but also for the whole world. But we should not lose heart, but roll up our sleeves, get to work two hours earlier, leave one hour later and search for proper partners," Roesler told a Greek-German business forum, adding that the crisis had broken out in Greece largely due to the poor competitiveness of the Greek economy.

    The European authorities and the IMF have said that they will decide on the next 8 billion euro tranche of a 100 billion euro bailout by mid-October. Greece, which has officially confirmed it would miss its 2011 and 2012 budget deficit target necessary to get the next tranche, may default on its sovereign debt without that aid in the second half of the month.

    Many experts have said they expect Greece to default on its obligations in the next six to 12 months.

    Expectations of Greece's default have depressed global equity markets in the past few weeks. Greece is driving hard for severe austerity measures, including large redundancies and budget cuts to avoid a default and win bailout funds from the European Union and the IMF.

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