ECONOMY

Eurozone to discuss new Greece request [Update]

eurozone-to-discuss-new-greece-request-update

Eurozone finance ministers will hold an emergency conference call Tuesday to discuss a last-minute proposal by Athens, just hours before Greece's current bailout expires, Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said.

"Extraordinary Eurogroup teleconference tonight 19:00 (1700 GMT) Brussels time to discuss official request of Greek government received this afternoon," Dutch finance minister Dijsselbloem said in a tweet.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras requested a two-year rescue deal with the European Union to save the crisis-hit country, just hours before its international bailout expires later Tuesday.

Tsipras also requested a short extension to its current bailout program to avoid a "technical default," with a 1.5 billion euro payment due to the IMF in just hours.

The call comes just three days after the Eurogroup rejected Greece's request for an extension to its bailout, following the Greek government's announcement of a referendum on Sunday on reform demands by Athens's creditors.

In a statement Tuesday, the Greek government said the radical-leftist government "remained at the table" and made a request for a new two-year rescue program with the EUs bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism.

The Greek government has recommended that voters vote 'no to reforms demanded by its EU-IMF creditors.

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday set out a his own "last-minute" solution to reach a debt deal before the referendum.

Juncker said a deal would involve Tsipras accepting the reform proposals that Greece's EU-IMF creditors made at the weekend and backing a "yes" vote in Sunday's plebiscite.

[AFP]