Greek Leaders Strike Deal on Cuts

    Image #: 16834877    (120208) -- ATHENS, Feb. 8, 2012 (Xinhua) -- Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos (2nd R), Socialist PASOK party leader and former Premier George Papandreou (1st R), conservative New Democracy President Antonis Samaras (2nd L) and rightist Popular Orthodox Rally head George Karatzaferis (1st L) attend a meeting of the political leaders of the three parties in the coalition government in Athens, capital of Greece, on Feb. 8, 2012. (Xinhua/POOL/Yiorgos Karahalis)        XINHUA /LANDOV

    Yiorgos Karahalis, Xinhua / Landov

    Greek leaders on Thursday reached a deal for deep austerity cuts, a government official has confirmed. By enacting austerity cuts, Greece is now eligible to receive bailout funds from the European Union—and thus will avoid defaulting on its debt. The deal came just hours before Greece's financial backers were set to meet in Brussels to discuss the crisis. The euro and Greek stocks rose Thursday after the news of a deal broke Greece's two major labor unions called for a 48-hour strike on Friday and Saturday against the cuts. Meanwhile, Greek unemployment rose to another new record, of 20.9 percent, in November, up from 18.2 percent in October. The average jobless rate for 17 eurozone countries  edged up to 10.4 percent in November from October’s 10.3 percent.

    Read it at Reuters