Greece submits proposals, awaits response from creditors, MPs

Greece submits proposals, awaits response from creditors, MPs

The Greek government sent to Brussels on Thursday night a set of proposals it hopes will form the basis of an agreement for a new bailout with lenders. The same proposals were also submitted to Parliament, which is due to vote on them on Friday.

The reform package was finalized during a morning meeting between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis.

The proposals were later presented to the cabinet. During the meeting, Tsipras made it clear to his ministers that he wants to reach an agreement with lenders, sources said.

The majority of the cabinet accepted the proposals but Energy Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis was among those who raised objections, arguing that they did not solve Greece’s problem.

Earlier in the day, Lafazanis told an energy conference in Athens that the government would not sign another memorandum of understanding. The proposals put together by the government are thought to contain around 12 billion euros’ worth of measures, which is more than some 8 billion euros included in the plan rejected by Greek voters in Sunday’s referendum.

The government was due to submit the proposals to Parliament on Thursday night ahead of a joint meeting of SYRIZA’s parliamentary group and political secretariat on Friday morning. It is likely that the government will ask for MPs to vote on the proposals by Friday evening, ahead of a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Saturday and a leaders’ summit on Sunday.

Sources in Brussels told Kathimerini that if the Eurogroup deems that the proposals are not satisfactory it will reject them immediately as there are a number of eurozone members who have lost their patience with Greece.

The institutions will study the Greek proposals throughout the day on Friday in order to present a report to the Euro Working Group, which is due to meet on Saturday morning in Brussels, before it makes its recommendation to the Eurogroup. Eurozone finance ministers are due to gather in the Belgian capital at 4 p.m.

If the agreement is to progress there will also have to be a decision on how Greece will fund itself over the next few weeks as there are unlikely to be any disbursements for at least the next month. A 3.7-billion-euro Greek bond held by the European Central Bank matures on July 20, while another payment of 350 million euros is also due to the International Monetary Fund on Monday.

Greece has already defaulted on one payment to the IMF, when it failed to pay out 1.6 billion euros at the end of last month. As the IMF has seniority, Athens will have to pay the Fund first.

New Democracy sent a delegation to Brussels on Thursday for a meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, while To Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis is due to meet him on Friday. Both visits are aimed at assuring European officials that the opposition parties will support the proposals in the Greek Parliament.

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