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Author Topic: Greece Promises New Reforms To Secure Bailout  (Read 200 times)
July 08, 2015, 04:52:49 PM

Offline Crown Mix

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Greece has offered to start reforming its pension and tax systems next week in a last-ditch attempt to head off a European crisis.

The country is also extending the period of time during which the banks are remaining closed, which limits everyone to cash machine withdrawals of €60 (£42).

Athens promised the economic reforms as it announced a new bid for funds from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the EU organisation that provides financial assistance for eurozone members.

A letter to the ESM from Greece's finance minister said: "We propose to immediately implement a set of measures as early as the beginning of next week including: tax reform related measures; pension related measures."

The three-year loan would enable Greece to cover its debt obligations, the ministry said, preventing it from defaulting and ensuring it does not have to drop out of the euro.

It came as EU President Donald Tusk warned that Athens has one last chance to obtain a rescue deal if it wants to remain in the single currency.

Earlier Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused creditors of transforming Greece into an "austerity laboratory".

Eurozone leaders decided at an emergency meeting overnight that Greece should have one more chance to present a credible rescue plan.

The heads of all 28 EU member states will discuss any proposal at a "decisive" summit on Sunday.

It is understood the submission to the ESM is just part of what will be required.

But he said any "restructuring" of the debt would not "provide an extra burden" on European people.

Mr Tsipras said: "In many European countries, austerity programmes have been put into effect.

"However, nowhere have those programmes been so harsh and so long lasting as in Greece and it is no exaggeration to say that my country has over the past five years been transformed into an austerity laboratory.

"This experiment, I think all of us have to accept, has not been a success. Over these five years we have seen a sky rocketing of poverty, unemployment has soared ... as has debt.

"Today, the majority of the Greek people ... feel that they have no other choice other than to demand that they be given a way out of this dead end and they have expressed this in the most direct way possible and we have to implement that decision."

When Mr Tsipras spoke to the EU parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday morning, he said he was calling for negotiations on the "sustainability of (Greek) public debt".

Greece's new finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos arrived at Tuesday’s meeting with handwritten notes scrawled on hotel notepaper.

A close-up photograph showed they included the phrase "no triumphalism".

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy welcomed the latest Greek proposals as a "positive" change in tone.

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