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Greek Economy May Contract Near 5% of GDP in 2012, Ta Nea Says

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Greece’s central bank forecasts the country’s economy will contract by almost 5 percent of gross domestic product this year, which is higher than a 4.5 percent estimate made last month, Ta Nea reported, without saying where it got the information.

A Bank of Greece report to be released today sees the economy returning to growth in the second half of 2013, the Athens-based newspaper said. Unemployment in 2012 is expected at 19 percent, Ta Nea reported.

Governor George Provopoulos will outline at the institution’s general meeting today that Greece must choose between reforming its economy with the help of its European Union and International Monetary Fund partners or find itself out of the euro, the newspaper said.

Recapitalization of Greece’s banks will help improve the economic environment and the central bank expects the process to be successful, Ta Nea reported. Greece must speed up state asset sales and better absorb EU funds, the newspaper said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Weeks in Athens at nweeks2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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