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Merkel In Brussels For Eurozone Debt Talks, Greece On Strike

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
BRUSSELS, October 5, 2011 -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel is travelling to Brussels on October 5 for talks with top EU officials at the European Commission amid efforts to contain the eurozone debt crisis.

The talks come after finance ministers of the 17 EU states using the common euro currency on October 4 delayed a decision on granting another tranche of debt aid to Greece until later this month.

The move increased concerns once again that the Greek government will finally default on its debt.

Also on October 4, France and Belgium had to guarantee the financing of Franco-Belgian bank Dexia after its shares plunged dramatically because of concerns over its exposure to Greek government debt.

The same day, the ratings agency Moody's downgraded Italian government bonds by three notches, to A2 from Aa2, and kept a negative outlook for the rating.

Meanwhile in Athens on October 5, public sector workers began a 24-hour strike to protest even deeper austerity cuts designed to avert a state default.

compiled from agency reports