Greek GDP falls by 6.5 percent in 1st Q 2012

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's statistics agency says the country's economy contracted by 6.5 percent in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2011, as Athens struggles through a financial crisis that has left it mired in a deep recession.

The agency said the figures released Friday were based on non-seasonally adjusted data.

Greece has made deep spending cuts, including slashing public sector salaries and pensions, and imposed repeated tax hikes over the past two years in return for billions of euros in rescue loans from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.

The measures have left the country in a fifth year of recession, while also sparking a political crisis. Greece holds repeat elections on June 17.

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