Greece in new bid for bailout cash

“The Greek proposal… includes funding of the country’s financing needs… for three years, debt adjustment and a front-loaded investment package of 35 billion euros (S$52.25 billion)”, the source said.

Making more concessions, though, will be tough on the Greek government since the shadow of severe dissent from governing lawmakers was already hanging over them.

“If this is Europe, then we don’t want this Europe”, said Aristidis Dimoupulos, a marketing professor in Athens.

That sentiment echoes much of the language in the run-up to the meeting.

Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the proposals were “extensive” but did not spell out whether they were sufficient. The capital controls also ban overseas money transfers, isolating Greece and its population of 11 million from foreign suppliers of everything from food to medicine.

In return, it is asking for a 53.5bn ($80.15bn) bailout from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the EU organisation that provides financial assistance for eurozone members. Certain bank branches opened last week to allow them to withdraw a weekly allowance of 120 euros each.

The proposed measures are certain to inflict more pain on a Greek public who just days ago voted overwhelmingly against a similar plan. Following months of deteriorating relations, creditors are demanding firm legislative action to back up the proposals.

“We will definitely not be able to rely on promises”, he said. “We have to make a major decision, whichever way”.

Schaeuble put the blame for the current crisis firmly on the shoulders of the radical left Syriza government that was elected in January on an anti-austerity platform. “I think it will be quite a hard meeting still”.

If Tsipras does not get a deal, Greece faces an nearly inevitable collapse of the banking system, which would be the first step for the country to fall out of the euro.

According to the official count, 251 politicians voted in favour of the proposals, 32 against and eight, including some members of Tsipras’ Syriza party, voted “present”, a form of abstention indicating dissent from their party line.

The ministers’ conclusions will be reviewed by euro zone leaders at a summit called for Sunday afternoon.

It was not immediately clear whether Sunday’s summit of the European Union’s 28 leaders would also be scrapped in the event of a deal.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin told French radio on Thursday that “we are starting to see the beginnings of chaos in Greece“.

Tsipras was in Strasbourg Wednesday as part of his last-ditch campaign to keep Greece in the euro.

The letter did not explicitly say Greece would cut pension spending – and especially limit access to early retirement – or raise sales tax nationwide to 23 per cent, as creditors want. Although the country’s annual budget deficit has come down dramatically, Greece’s debt burden has increased as the economy has shrunk by a quarter.

But he did say there was limited scope for “reprofiling” Greek debt by extending loan maturities, shaving interest rates and lengthening a moratorium on debt service payments.


p style=”text-align: center;”>Reuters              Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressed the European Parliament on Wednesday


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