Premier: Painful cuts will restore credibility

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THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras says the final round of austerity measures contains painful and unjust cuts but is necessary to restore Greece's credibility and continue to receive funding from creditors.

Samaras says "all unjust cuts" will be restored once the economy starts growing again.

Debt-laden Greece is in the fifth year of a deep recession that has seen its economy shrink by 20 percent and the jobless rate soar to 24.4 percent in June. Massive aid from the EU and IMF has helped the country stave off bankruptcy.

Samaras is in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki to open the International Trade Fair. Three separate protests greeted him, the largest by military and police personnel angry at wage cuts. In Athens, over 2,000 pensioners protested in a peaceful march.

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