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Farmers Riot In Greece As Recession Returns

Agricultural workers from across Greece have begun gathering in the capital as part of a two-day protest. 

Bailout lenders are demanding that Greece abolish tax breaks for farmers and impose pension reforms that will result in higher monthly contributions from both the self-employed and salaried employees.

The protests take place alongside official statistics which show that the Greek economy shrank 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Having fallen 1.4% in the third quarter the country is now in recession again.

A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth.

Greece also has the unwanted accolade of having the worst performing stock market in the world so far this year. In less than seven week the Greek Stock Exchange has fallen nearly 30% - outpacing the falls witnessed in China and Italy.

Overall Eurozone economic growth was in line with expectation at 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2015 with German growth proving resilient despite worsening conditions in Italy. 

Markit chief economist Chris Williamson said: "The migrant crisis, political uncertainty, high unemployment and sluggish global demand all pose downside risks to the outlook."

Such a sombre outlook is likely to prompt further policy action from the European central bank next month.

© Sky News, 2016