Greek unemployment surges to 24.4 percent

Greece’s unemployment rate surged to 24.4 per cent in June, according to official figures, as protests continued against a massive new austerity package, with police blocking their colleagues from starting work.

The Greek Statistical Authority said on Thursday the number of people out of work in June rose by 34,000 to more than 1.2 million. The jobless rate was up from 23.5 per cent in May and 17.2 per cent the previous year.

Greece’s coalition government is hammering out a new 11.5 billion-euro ($A14.30 billion) austerity package for 2013-14, demanded by rescue creditors from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.

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