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(MENAFN - AFP) Thousands took to the streets of Ireland Saturday to protest against the introduction of water charges as part of its bailout following the 2008 financial crisis.

In Dublin, an AFP reporter said several thousand people turned out to protest while thousands more joined demonstrations in other cities including Galway on the west coast.

Organisers said they ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

The outbreak is a priority on the agenda of the 54-nation African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa on Saturday, yet the bloc is still smarting from criticism that it ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A top European Central Bank official said Saturday the institution cannot keep lending money to Greece unless the heavily indebted nation extends its bailout programme before a February deadline.

The remarks from Bank of Finland Governor Erkki Liikanen -- who sits on the ECB's governing council -- come one month before the bailout programme agreed upon by Greece ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) European Parliament President Martin Schulz labelled "irresponsible" Greece's refusal to work with the so-called troika of international bailout inspectors charged with overseeing the country's painful fiscal reforms.

"If the Greek government does not in fact want to work any more with its creditors on the current basis, I find that irresponsible," he said ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Greece sought to repair relations with its international creditors Saturday as the new anti-austerity government began a charm offensive in European capitals, even as Germany insisted it would not support any debt relief.

Just hours before Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis headed to Paris to seek support for a renegotiation Greece's massive loans, Prime Minister ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Madrid on Saturday in support of new anti-austerity party Podemos, a week after Greece elected its hard-left ally Syriza.

With the party topping opinion polls in the run up to elections later this year, protesters chanted "Yes we can!" as they made their way from Madrid city hall to the central Puerta del Sol ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Greece's new government began a search for European allies Saturday in its bid to renegotiate its loans and end austerity, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel once again ruled out debt relief for Athens.

Radical Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his maverick Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis are reaching out to France and Italy, whose centre-left governments ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Call it rum and cigar diplomacy: The few Americans allowed to visit Cuba are eager to finally legally bring home the communist island's once forbidden fruits.

While Washington and Havana seek to normalize ties, US President Barack Obama added rum and cigars to the diplomatic mix in January by allowing Americans to fly back with $100 worth of Cuban tobacco and ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Russia's economy minister on Saturday said GDP is expected to shrink by three percent in 2015 with oil prices at $50 a barrel, while capital flight is estimated to be $115 billion.

The government previously predicted the contraction at 0.8 percent. Inflation predictions have also been revised for the current year from 7.5 percent to 12 percent, minister Alexei ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) China's housing prices rose in January for the first time in nine months, a survey showed Saturday, breaking a decline that has weighed on growth in the world's second-largest economy.

The average price of a new home in China's 100 major cities rose 0.21 percent from December to 10,564 yuan ($1,690) per square metre, according to the independent China Index ...

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