Greece pushed ahead with talks on a new rescue loan Tuesday, but its government came under increasing pressure over claims it had a top-secret plan to prepare for a euro exit that involved accessing citizens' personal tax data. It will be the country's third bailout in more than five years. So far, Greece has received about 240 billion euros from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. In return, it was forced to implement painful spending cuts, tax increases, and wide-ranging market reforms. The austerity deepened a sharp recession, and caused unemployment to swell to a peacetime record.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.