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Merkel's staff brief journalists that she is ready to back Mario Draghi for the ECB; her spokesman still denies the story, presumably to allow her to pull back if she were encounter any opposition; Bild says Draghi was the most Germanic of all candidates; Juncker is also now supporting Draghi; Socrates wants bailout package ready mid-May, IMF and Juncker more cautious; Costas warns of effect of unemployment on the Portuguese banking sector; Greek two-year bond yields decline for the first time in 12 days; trade unions announce strike action against Greek privatisation plans; a Reuters poll suggests that there will be no rate rise until July; Orphanides says too little progress has been made on the too-big-to-fail problem of large financial institutions; El Pais warns of a miserable decade ahead for the Spanish labour market; Germany supports European company statute for mid-sized firms; Il Sole 24 ore, meanwhile, reports on the debate on whether a soft restructuring of Greek sovereign debt would trigger CDS contracts.
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