The Greek economy contracted 1.5% in the second quarter compared with, surpassing analysts forecasts of 1.1%, while the on the year the economy shrank 3.5% from 2.3% which is also above estimates of 3.4% contraction.

The seventh consecutive quarter contraction was underpinned by the rise in unemployment which reached 12% in May and tax increase to trim budget deficit that amounted 13.6% of GDP.

According to EU and Greek government projections, contraction will reach 4% in 2010.