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Greece reacts to calls for collateral

ATHENS, Greece, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said European leaders need to send a positive political message to global markets.

In a letter to European leaders, Venizelos expressed his frustration with four countries that have recently demanded collateral in return for continued support on an international bailout loan that was agreed to in July.

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Austria, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Slovakia have called for the loan to include collateral, Kathimerini reported Monday.

The letter was sent to Euro Group President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Monetary and Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn and European Central Bank Chairman Jean-Claude Trichet.

Greece, meanwhile, may not hit all its fiscal targets this year, Venizelos said, admitting economic output could shrink by 4.5 percent this year.

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