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Brazil leader sympathises with 'tough' task facing Greece's Tsipras

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(BRUSSELS) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff offered sympathy to embattled Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday over the "tough" situation he faces in a standoff with EU-IMF creditors.

"The Greek prime minister spoke about his difficulties, which are public and well known. We know it's tough -- we had to wait 20 years for growth," said Rousseff, who met Tsipras on the sidelines of an EU-Latin America summit in Brussels.

"All austerity measures involve two sides, and one side imposes a measure which the country implements until they go bankrupt. We think of the example of Argentina at the end of the 1990s," said the Brazilian leader.

The meeting came just before Tsipras met European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker as part of a diplomatic offensive aimed at sealing a bailout deal for cash-strapped Greece.

Rousseff was re-elected last year to a second term as the head of the Workers' Party, which has ruled Brazil for 12 years.

But Brazil has been beset by four straight years of slow growth since leftist Rousseff took office and her government is reeling from the country's worst ever corruption scandal which has seen dozens of politicians, mainly close allies, accused of collusion in a kickbacks scheme involving fat contracts with state-owned oil firm Petrobras.


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