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Greek unemployment dips, still above 26 percent

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek unemployment dropped considerably in the second quarter but still afflicts more than a quarter of the workforce, as the country struggles to climb out of a punishing six-year economic recession.

The Greek statistical authority said Thursday that 1.28 million people, or 26.6 percent, were unemployed in April-June, compared with 1.34 million, or 27.8 percent, in January-March. In the second quarter of 2013, the unemployment rate was 27.3 percent.

Nearly a million jobs have been lost during Greece's economic crisis, which started in 2009 amid revelations the budget deficit was much higher than previously reported. Greece swiftly lost access to financial markets, on which it had relied to finance its spending, and was saved from bankruptcy by international bailouts.

To secure these loans, Athens imposed harsh austerity measures.

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