السبت , مايو 22 2021

New Greece bailout plan 'thorough'

Alexis Tsipras at a Syriza party meeting, 10 July

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras told Syriza colleagues: “We are all in this together”

The Eurogroup has described new Greek proposals on securing a vital third bailout as “thorough”.

President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said a “major decision… whichever way” could now be made at a eurozone finance meeting on Saturday.

The plans are aimed at staving off a possible Greek exit from the eurozone.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras will put the plans, which contains many elements rejected in a referendum last Sunday, to a vote in parliament on Friday.

The prime minister submitted the proposals to Greece’s creditors – the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – by the Thursday deadline they had set.

Follow the latest updates here

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde and Mr Dijsselbloem were scheduled to hold a conference call on the new proposals at 11:00 GMT.

Mr Dijsselbloem said the new Greek paper was “a thorough piece of text” and that support from the Greek parliament would give it “more credibility”.

“But even then we need to consider carefully whether the proposal is good and if the numbers add up. We have to make a major decision. Whichever way.”

Analysis: Robert Peston, BBC economics editor

Only a few days ago Mr Tsipras won an overwhelming mandate from the Greek people, in a referendum, to reject more-or-less these bailout terms.

And today, on the back of that popular vote, he is signing up to the supposedly hated bailout. This is big politics that would make Lewis Carroll proud.

But here’s the point. If a way isn’t found to allow the banks to reopen within days – and the ECB simply maintaining Emergency Liquidity Assistance won’t come anywhere near to achieving that – the Greek economy will implode so that any bailout deal agreed this weekend will become irrelevant in weeks.

Read more from Robert

Crisis triggers memories of World War Two

Angela Merkel under pressure over Greek bailout deal

All Greek to you? Debt jargon explained

Eurozone finance ministers meet in Brussels on Saturday. A meeting of Eurogroup leaders is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, followed by a full EU summit two hours later.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said he was optimistic and hoped a deal could be struck on Saturday so that the Sunday meetings would not be needed.

French President Francois Hollande said the new proposals were “serious and credible” and that the “Greeks have just shown their determination to remain in the eurozone”.

Greece in numbers

€320bn

Greece’s debt mountain

€240bn

European bailout

  • 177% country’s debt-to-GDP ratio

  • 25% fall in GDP since 2010

  • 26% Greek unemployment rate

However Germany, which has been far less upbeat on a deal, would not comment in detail on the new plan.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said it was withholding judgment and waiting for the creditor institutions to give their opinion.

Finance ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said Germany would not accept any reduction of debt that caused it more losses.

“The outcome of the Eurogroup meeting on Saturday is completely open,” he said.

‘In this together’

In Athens, Mr Tsipras convened a meeting of his Syriza party ahead of the Greek parliamentary debate.

A government official quoted him as telling the party’s lawmakers that the referendum had given him a mandate to seek a better deal but not to leave the eurozone.

“We are all in this together,” he was quoted as saying.

Syriza parliamentary spokesman Nikos Filis said he was confident MPs would give the government the mandate to negotiate the new bailout package.

The coalition government has 162 seats in the 300-strong parliament, and also has the backing of many opposition MPs.

However, the BBC’s Mark Lowen in Athens says that no matter how it is packaged and whatever the positive spin, Mr Tsipras has made a major climb-down, with the measures he has agreed similar to what the creditors were demanding.

Further rallies for and against a new bailout are planned in Athens on Friday.

Banks closed

The measures submitted in the new Greek document include:

  • tax rise on shipping companies
  • unifying VAT rates at standard 23%, including restaurants and catering
  • phasing out solidarity grant for pensioners by 2019
  • €300m ($332m; £216m) defence spending cuts by 2016
  • privatisation of ports and sell-off of remaining shares in telecoms giant OTE
  • scrapping 30% tax break for wealthiest islands

Greece’s creditors have already provided more than €200bn in two bailouts since a rescue plan began five years ago.

The second bailout expired on 30 June.

Greece’s banks are still closed and the €60 (£43; $66) daily limit on cash machine withdrawals for Greeks, imposed on 28 June, remains in force. With a shortage of €20 notes, for many the withdrawal is in effect €50.

Crisis countdown

  • 10 July: Greek parliament vote. ECB, EU and IMF discuss proposals at technical level
  • 11 July: Eurozone finance ministers discuss plans (Brussels 13:00 GMT)
  • 12 July: Eurogroup leaders meet (14:00 GMT) followed by summit of all 28 members of the European Union (16:00 GMT). Both Brussels
  • 20 July: €3bn payment due from Greece to the European Central Bank

Tsipras, Greece’s high-stakes gambler

Why Greece sees France as last hope

How easy is it to swap currencies?

Full coverage of Greek debt crisis

Greek scenarios

European Stability Mechanism explained

شاهد أيضاً

Bishop of the Southern United States of America, warns of a fake email attributed to him

Ashraf Helmey His Grace Bishop Youssef, Bishop of Texas and Southern United States, warned that …