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Greek economy expands for second straight quarter

An elderly woman shops at the main fruit and vegetable market in central Athens on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. Financially battered Greece's national statistics authority says provisional data show the economy grew 0.8 percent in April-July 2017 compared to the same quarter last year. Greeks lost an average 40 percent of their income _ and pensioners suffered repeated pension cuts _ in an eight-year depression that slashed a quarter off economic output. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Greek economy grew for the second straight quarter, provisional figures released Friday showed in a development that’s likely to raise hopes that the debt-laden economy is on more stable ground following years of crisis.

Figures from the Hellenic Statistical Authority showed that the Greek economy, battered by years of crisis, expanded by a quarterly rate of 0.5 percent in the April to June quarter. As a result, the economy is 0.8 percent bigger than the same quarter last year.

Greece has been struggling through a financial crisis since 2010, and has been dependent on billions of euros in rescue loans from three international bailouts.

The emergency loans came with strings attached. Greece’s economy was put under the strict supervision of its creditors, and successive Greek governments have had to impose harsh austerity measures, including pension and salary cuts and repeated waves of tax hikes. The crisis saw the economy contract by about a quarter, a depression that has seen unemployment and poverty rates swell across the country.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ office said in a statement that the growth reported “proves beyond any doubt that Greece has turned the page.”

“We are continuing the efforts for fair development with the protection of labor and the building of a new productive model,” it said.

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