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Greece

No Reforms, No Cash: How Euro Bailout Conditions Would “Re-create” Modern Greece

The euro zone countries and the IMF are now making it clear to Greece: bailout cash will only come after the kind of drastic reforms that would effectively transform Greek society. But are the measures too drastic to make it possible?

Her future at stake (George Laoutaris)
Her future at stake (George Laoutaris)
Stefanie Bolzen and Florian Hassel

BERLIN - Before international lenders free billions of euros in credits to Greece, its government must see through groundbreaking reforms – that's according to the new loans package Greece agreed on last Thursday with the E.U. Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The program was approved on Sunday by the Greek parliament.

Die Welt obtained a copy of the 51-page document, which is dated Feb. 9, 2012 and entitled Memorandum of Understanding on Specific Economic Policy Conditionality. Compared to the other bailout agreements signed up until now, the terms this time are much, much sharper. If implemented (Athens may end up declaring bankruptcy before it can be) it could lead to a virtual overhaul of the Greek economy and a remaking of its society. Some of the contents of the program are the equivalent of social and political dynamite.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Kharkiv Revisited: Inside Russia's New Assault On The "Hero City" Of Ukraine

The nation's second-largest city, Kharkiv was quiet for weeks after Ukrainian forces took control. But now it is again under attack as Russia pushes to capture the city that's considered the "gateway" to Ukraine. Die Welt reports from the frontline.

Damages due to Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine

Alfred Hackensberger

KHARKIV — "Come, I want to show you something," Denys Vezenych says, opening the door of his dental office.

The 40-year-old begins to tell the story in the waiting room: "It was April 16 when the Russian artillery shell hit. The windowpanes were broken, the walls had holes everywhere and the roof was destroyed. But I renovated everything."

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The repairs cost him several thousand euros. "You have to think positively, because life goes on," he explains with a smile. But this attitude is not so present generally in Saltivka, a neighborhood in northeastern Kharkiv. The dental practice may be like new, but the rest of this area in the northeastern Ukrainian city is completely destroyed.

The Russian army has done a great job in its three-month offensive on Ukraine's second largest metropolis. Countless flats have been burned out, the facades of houses have been shot to pieces, entire shopping centers have been bombed. Debris still lie in the streets everywhere.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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