Oct. 2 - With the focus firmly on Spain, Greece has almost become a side show in recent weeks, but as another harsh budget is outlined by Athens, how important is a solution for Greece to the wider euro zone debt crisis? Sonia Legg reports.
A sixth year of recession and more cuts on the way - it's hard to be optimistic about the outlook for Greece. Music students and the disabled were protesting on Tuesday as the troika looked at Athens' latest draft budget with Greek ministers, including labour boss Yannis Droutsis. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) LABOUR MINISTER YANNIS DROUTSIS SAYING: "We discussed the minimum wage extensively, the issue of a labour inspection body and its evaluation, policies for tackling unemployment and ways to reduce labour costs." The budget is designed to unlock international aid by further cutting public spending. Greece is aiming for a 1.5 percent deficit this year and a primary surplus next year - before debt servicing - of 1.1 percent of GDP It would be the first positive balance sheet for a decade. But getting there won't be easy. ICAP economist Don Smith says the focus at the moment may be on Spain's far bigger economy but Greece in the coming months is a real threat. SOUNDBITE: Don Smith, Economist, ICAP, saying (English): "The risk of a Greek exit is smaller now but that remains the single biggest risk to the global economy through the fourth quarter and into next year." The troika inspectors are yet to report on their latest review. And one thing is certain - they'll be no bailout without their approval. Sonia Legg, Reuters