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Unemployment In Greece Reaches Record Highs

The impact was underscored by new statistics released Thursday showing unemployment reached a stunning 26.8 percent in October.

The Statistical Authority said the unemployment rate increased from 26.2 percent in September 2012 and 19.7 percent of October 2011.

Young Greeks are the worst affected, with 56.6 percent of those aged between 15 and 24 out of work.

Also Thursday, Socialist lawmaker Christos Aidonis quit the coalition government and declared himself an independent, protesting at the lack of action taken to investigate people on a list of Greeks with Swiss banks accounts for potential tax fraud.

His move reduces the number of lawmakers backing the government in the 300-member parliament to 163. It also means that continued support from all three parties in the coalition â¿¿ ND, Socialist PASOK and Democratic Left â¿¿ is now required to keep the government afloat.

Former Socialist Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou is facing a parliamentary investigation into his handling of the list of 2,000 Greeks who held accounts at HSBC bank in Switzerland until 2007. The list was drawn from data on 24,000 customers reportedly stolen from the bank.

Prosecutors said the names of three of Papaconstantinou's relatives had been illegally removed from the list of Greek account holders.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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