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The European Union economic affairs chief warned on Wednesday that restructuring Greece's massive debt would have devastating consequences for the country and the eurozone as a whole.
Amid growing fears the EU may have to rescue Greece for a second time, European economy commissioner Olli Rehn said a 'large part' of the Greek banking system would likely 'become insolvent' if the national debt was restructured.
It would also have dire consequences for growth and employment, and shut Greece out of the international borrowing markets for a long time, he said.
POLICE clashed with protesters near the Greek Parliament as thousands demonstrated against a new wave of austerity cuts designed to keep the country's sinking economy above water.
Security forces overnight fired tear gas after being hit with stones by a small group of protesters who retreated, leaving behind a trail of vandalised garbage bins, bus shelters and stores in the Athens centre.
Italy is next in line to seek a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund as a 'slow-motion banking crisis' unfolds in the country, Felix Zulauf, President of Zulauf Asset Management said.
"Everyone is focused on Spain. I think the next country to go is Italy," Zulauf told delegates at a conference in Edinburgh.