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IMF Admits 'Notable Failures' in 2010 Greece Rescue

The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday admitted to significant failures in the first Greek rescue that forced a second, larger bailout and left the country in a deep recession.

However, the global lender placed much of the blame on its Greek and European partners, saying they were unprepared for the crisis and the harsh choices -- including a deep debt restructuring -- that may have made the first bailout work better.

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French Unemployment Climbs Again in First Quarter

France's rising unemployment reached 10.8 percent in the first quarter of 2013, the highest it has been since 1998, according to data released Thursday from the national statistics institute Insee.

The jobless rate in the eurozone's second-largest economy rose by 0.3 percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2012, it said.

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Latvia Gets Go-Ahead to Become 18th Euro Member

The European Union's executive arm has given tiny Latvia the go-ahead to become the 18th country to join the troubled euro currency union next year.

EU officials say that Latvia's desire to join is a vote of confidence in the shared currency and disproves predictions that the eurozone might break up. The current 17-country group has struggled since 2009 with too much government debt, compounded now by a slack economy.

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Report: Japan PM to Pledge to Boost Incomes by 30%

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will outline the "third arrow" of his economic growth plan Wednesday, which will include plans to boost per-capita income by more than a third in 10 years, media said.

Abe is expected to unveil his target of increasing per-capita gross national income (GNI) by more than 1.5 million yen (about $15,000) over the next decade, major papers reported.

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ECB Searches for Ways to Boost Sagging Eurozone

Europe's economy badly needs a push. The European Central Bank says it stands ready to help.

But how?

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New York Enjoying Luxury Real Estate Boom

While many people scrimp and save to buy their first modest home and others rent for life, New York is seeing a boom in housing construction for the fabulously rich.

Buyers are snapping up high-rise luxury condos before they are even completed, with money gushing in from places like South America, the Middle East, China and Russia, as well as from New York.

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IMF Downgrades Forecast for French Economy

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday downgraded its forecast for the French economy in 2013 and 2014, adding that it would be "hard" to reverse the unemployment trend by the end of the year.

The Washington-based organisation said France's GDP would contract by 0.2 percent this year and grow by 0.8 percent in 2014, compared to previous predictions of a 0.1 percent contraction in 2013 and 0.9 percent growth next year.

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Lagarde: Greece Must not Relax Fiscal Effort

Greece must not relax a fiscal effort that is starting to bear fruit after painful sacrifices, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said on Tuesday as Athens lined up for another creditor audit.

"Now is not the time to relax the effort," Lagarde told state television NET in an interview recorded last week.

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Spanish Jobless Queue Shrinks for Third Month

The queue of Spanish job benefit claimants shrank in May for a third straight month, raw data showed Tuesday, a result hailed by the government as it battles record unemployment.

But Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative Popular Party government admitted that May is often a good month for the labor market.

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Islamic Banks Can Help Fund Asia's Infrastructure Needs

Islamic banks can help finance Asia's burgeoning infrastructure investment needs while continuing to adhere to fundamental Sharia tenets, executives said Tuesday.

Islamic banks, which emerged relatively unscathed from the global economic crisis in 2008, saw total assets top $1.6 trillion (1.22 trillion euros) in 2012, a 20.4 percent rise from 2011.

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