Greece meets deadline for proposals in new bailout bid

Greece’s government met the July 9 midnight deadline it had faced to submit proposals in a bid to get a new bailout, but several crucial steps in the process lie ahead before there can be any certainty about a deal that would stave off bankruptcy for the country.

The proposals were worked out at a meeting earlier that day between Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and his deputy prime minister, finance minister and economy minister.

They were then discussed by the cabinet in Athens before being submitted to the Eurogroup and Greece’s creditors, the International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank.

The Eurogroup confirmed receipt of the proposals ahead of the midnight deadline.

The proposals are reported to include 12 to 13 billion euro of measures, including tax increases and pension reforms. In the early hours of July 10, a Greek media report described in detail what it said the proposals contained.

They were due to be discussed on the morning of July 10 by Tsipras’s Syriza party, where it was likely that the element of austerity measures would be received as anathema by the leftist-populist party’s far-left wing.

Later the same day, a bill enabling a mandate for negotiations on the measures was to be put to the Greek parliament, where they were also sure to be set from a stormy passage from within the ranks of ruling parties’ MPs. At the same time, opposition centre-right New Democracy was reported to have advised in advance that they would support the reform proposals.

Should they clear the passage of scrutiny by EU institutions, the proposals will be discussed at a special meeting on July 12 by EU leaders.

The ever-deepening dramatic crisis around Greece’s massive debt and the policies of the Syriza government have seen the country go into arrears with a payment of 1.6 billion euro that had been due to the IMF. On July 13, the country faces a deadline to pay the IMF 350 million euro, while seven days later, a 3.7 billion euro bond to the ECB comes due.

In a snap referendum last Sunday, Greeks voted by more than 60 per cent to reject a previous proposal by the country’s creditors, even though that offer was no longer on the table.

Reports on July 9 suggested that the measures in the proposal submitted by the Greek government were more severe than those in the expired offer that voters had rejected in the referendum.

Reports early on July 10 said that banks in Greece were due to remain to closed into the coming week, after capital controls were imposed earlier and ATM cash withdrawals from Greek bank accounts limited to 60 euro a day.




The Sofia Globe staff

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