Greece headed for a cliffhanger vote on austerity measuresneeded to keep the bailout on track as a 48-hour general strikebegan and European officials squabbled over the timing of a deal tounlock rescue funds.

European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner OlliRehn, speaking at a meeting of Group of 20 finance chiefs in MexicoCity, said yesterday that a deal must be made at a meeting of EUfinance ministers in Brussels on Nov. 12. A European G-20 official,speaking before Rehn and on condition of anonymity, cast doubt onthe prospects for that deadline, saying officials may fallshort.

Greece is under pressure to make more efforts to rein in itsbudget deficit and deregulate the economy. While German ChancellorAngela Merkel last month travelled to Greece to signal herwillingness to keep Greece in the euro, the country is stillstruggling to hit its debt reduction targets amid a combination ofGreek political resistance to more cuts and economic collapse.

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