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Greece submits new bailout plan just before deadline

world Updated: Jul 10, 2015 03:20 IST
Greece bailout

Alexis Tsipras won the backing of 251 out of 300 deputies for his reform plans, even though they are similar to the ones that Greeks rejected in the referendum after he branded them "humiliating". (Reuters Photo)

Greece submitted new proposals for economic reforms just hours ahead of a deadline on Thursday in a bid to secure a further bailout from its international creditors. A spokesperson for Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem confirmed receipt of the new bailout plan two hours ahead of a midnight deadline.

"New Greek proposals received by #Eurogroup president @J_Dijsselbloem. Important for institutions to consider these in their assessment," said spokesperson Michel Reijns in a tweet.

BBC quoted Greek media as saying the new measures involve tax rises and spending cuts worth more than 12bn euro - more than those rejected in the referendum.

Also read:Greece's bailout referendum: All you need to know

The Greek government will seek a parliamentary vote on Friday to endorse the new reform commitments it is offering.

Leaders of the 19-country single currency area gave Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras the deadline at an emergency summit on Tuesday, warning that failure to comply risked Greece's place in the euro.

Greeks overwhelmingly voted in a referendum on Sunday to reject previous austerity demands from international creditors in exchange for a new aid programme to replace the one that expired on June 30.

Greek banks have been closed since June 29, when capital controls were imposed and cash withdrawals rationed after the collapse of previous bailout talks.

Proposals to be scrutinised

The new reform proposals will now be scrutinised by officials from Greece's EU-IMF creditors, before going before eurozone finance ministers on Saturday and a full summit of all 28 European Union leaders on Sunday.

"The (creditor) institutions will examine them to give their view to the Eurogroup," a European source told AFP on condition of anonymity. "They also need these proposals to determine the size of the bailout programme - that will also depend upon broader economic scenarios," the source said.

Greece's application letter on Wednesday to the eurozone's bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, called for a three-year programme but did not say how much money was needed.

Anti-austerity 'No' camp supporter celebrates in Athens. (Reuters Photo)

Greece has already had two bailouts worth 240 billion euros from the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund, but since the crisis started its economy has shrunk by a quarter, unemployment is more than 25 percent and one in two young people is out of work.

Germany, the biggest creditor, meanwhile took a small step towards Athens by conceding that Greece will need some debt restructuring as part of a proposed new three-year loan programme to make its economy viable.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told a conference in Frankfurt, "Debt sustainability is not feasible without a haircut and I think the IMF is correct in saying that." But he added: "There cannot be a haircut because it would infringe the system of the European Union."

He offered no solution to the conundrum, which implied that Greece's debt problem might not be soluble within the euro zone. 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.