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Greek unemployment rises to 27.5 percent

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Official figures show the unemployment rate in Greece increased to 27.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 as the economy struggled to emerge from a protracted recession.

Thursday's figures from the statistics agency showed the jobless rate increasing from 27 percent in the third quarter of 2013 and from 26 percent in the same three months of 2012.

Greece, a country of about 10 million people, has 1.36 million people out of work, the figures showed. Young people are the most severely affected, with 57 percent of those aged 15-24 jobless.

Greece, which has been affected by a financial crisis since late 2009, depends on rescue loans from the International Monetary Fund and other European countries. In return, it has had to impose deep spending cuts and tax increases.

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