Greece gives new reform plan to creditors: European sources
Greece submitted a promised reform plan to its EU-IMF creditors Tuesday, a day before Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is due to discuss how to end Athens’s debt crisis with the French and German leaders, European sources said.
Creditors “are now in the process of studying” the list of “counter-proposals”, which arrived two days after European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker complained Tsipras had not fulfilled a pledge made at a meeting last week to send Brussels the plans, one source told AFP.
One major Greek proposal was an idea, first floated by Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, for debt held by the hardline European Central Bank to be transferred to the eurozone’s crisis-fighting fund, the European Stability Mechanism, which is widely seen as softer, another source said.
The move would effectively delay two huge payments owed by Greece to the ECB this summer, allowing nearly-broke Athens urgently needed breathing space.
European sources also told AFP that Greece and its creditors were also debating a possible extension of its current eurozone bailout programme, which expires at the end of June, until March 2016.
The extension would be the third for Greece since last year and align it with the end of the IMF’s own bailout agreement with Athens, which has run in tandem with the EU and ECB programme.
Tsipras warned earlier Tuesday that a failure to reach a Greek bailout deal would be the beginning of the end for the eurozone.
The Greek premier has sought a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on the sidelines of an EU-Latin America summit in Brussels on Wednesday.
The EU’s Juncker presented Tsipras with the creditors’ five-page reform plan at a meeting in Brussels last week, but Tsipras rejected the proposals as “absurd” and insisted Greece’s own 47-page blueprint should be the basis for talks.
Juncker on Sunday accused Tsipras of failing to respect “minimal rules” in their negotiations and refused to take a call from the Greek leader at the weekend, saying Tsipras had to submit the promised alternative reform plan first.
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