Friday 22 November 2019

Greece finally unveils reforms plan in bid to unlock eurozone bailout cash

Yanis Varoufakis is pictures, as the crisis talks between Angela Merkel and Alexis Tsipras, the Greek PM, have taken place at a time of considerable anger in Germany over the Syriza government's aggressive negotiating tactics
Yanis Varoufakis is pictures, as the crisis talks between Angela Merkel and Alexis Tsipras, the Greek PM, have taken place at a time of considerable anger in Germany over the Syriza government's aggressive negotiating tactics
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Berlin

Ben Chu

Greece submitted a long-awaited list of reforms to its eurozone partners yesterday in the hope of unlocking the bailout money Athens desperately needs to avoid a calamitous default.

In a sign of the intensifying financial pressure on the Greek government, local media reported yesterday that Athens has been forced to draw on the cash reserves of state-owned corporations in order to meet its liabilities.

The Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers will need to approve Greece’s list of reforms – which include measures to boost tax revenues and liberalise labour markets – in order for Athens to receive the final €7.2bn of bailout cash it requires. Eurozone officials said that the analysis of the proposals will begin in  earnest today.

Read more here: ECB's Weidmann: 'No more emergency loans for Greece'  

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and the Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras had a 'tense encounter' (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and the Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras had a 'tense encounter' (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras address a news conference following talks at the Chancellery in Berlin March 23, 2015. Tsipras, pressing for cash to keep his country afloat, began talks with Merkel on Monday after Berlin ruled out any breakthrough in differences with the euro zone over Athens's international bailout. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Over the next two weeks, Greece needs to pay €2bn in pensions and salaries plus another €500m debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund.

Greece struck an interim deal with creditors last month to extend its bailout to June, enabling the country’s banking system to continue to receive support from the European Central Bank. But the eurozone refused to release the final tranche of cash due to the country until it had seen a detailed list of structural economic reforms from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ administration.

Read more here: Greece optimistic on deal with euro zone next week 

Relations between Greece and its partners have been rocky. Officials in Athens were forced to deny reports in the German tabloid Bild yesterday that its rebarbative finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, was planning to resign.

Data from the Greek central bank this week showed companies and households pulled €7.6bn out their bank accounts in February, as the country was locked in negotiations about its bailout extension.

Read more here: Eurozone gives Greece five days to deliver plan

Read more here: Greece has 50-50 hope of Eurozone survival: Soros 

Independent News Service

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