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Pressure on Merkel

GERMAN chancellor Angela Merkel (right) is coming under increasing pressure to make a swift decision on how private bondholders can pay part of a new €115bn Greek bailout.

The IMF and Italian officials have warned that continued uncertainty in the region would hit other countries. The markets await as a severe fiscal tightening package goes before the Italian parliament -- Giulio Tremonti, Italy's finance minister, said the Greek standoff was like a "crisis moving through the world like a mutant".