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Kenny warns Greeks as they make last bid for new loan


Alexis Tsipras

Alexis Tsipras

Alexis Tsipras

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has warned that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must implement "necessary reforms" to get Greece back on to the "pathway to stability".

Mr Kenny stressed Greece remains an important part of the eurozone and the EU, insisting a deal can still be brokered which will lead to stability for the Greek people.

Greece yesterday made a final bid for aid from Europe's bail-out fund, as it faces a race against the clock to avoid economic collapse.

The Greek government asked for a three-year loan programme from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which is guaranteed by the 19 member states of the eurozone bloc, insisting it was finally ready to implement major economic reforms.

According to the letter sent to the ESM, Athens said it would "immediately implement a set of measures as early as the beginning of next week".

The move - Athens' last chance of staving off a banking collapse and exit from the euro - must be followed up with detailed proposals by midnight today, according to a final timetable fixed by Eurozone leaders last night.

Mr Kenny stressed that a viable, long-term debt deal was required to ensure the country can "get onto the pathway of stability".

"That leads to confidence, investment and jobs," he added.


Without a deal in place, the European Central Bank is poised to withdraw €89bn of emergency liquidity funding - a move that would trigger a banking collapse and an end to euro membership.

"Riots and chaos" will ensue, Christian Noyer, the governor of the French central bank and a member of the ECB governing council, warned yesterday.

"The Greek economy is on the brink of catastrophe. A deal absolutely must be reached on Sunday because it will be too late after that and the consequences will be grave," he said.

Greek depositors are limited to withdrawals of €60 a day and Mr Noyer said it was "impossible" to reopen the banks at the moment without triggering an "immediate run". But the emergency aid will not carry on "indefinitely" because the rules have already been pushed "to their limit", Mr Noyer said.

Greek tourism groups warned of an "explosion of unemployment" if no deal is struck.

There has been a surge in sales of fridges, televisions and top-of-the-range computers as Greeks attempt to turn their remaining euro into valuable hard assets.

Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, was greeted with a mixture of adulation and fury as he told the European Parliament his country had become an "austerity laboratory".

"We demand an agreement with our neighbours," he said, in a speech high in rhetoric but light on the new proposals for reform that his creditors demand.

"But one which gives us a sign that we are on a long-lasting basis exiting from the crisis, which will demonstrate there's light at the end of the tunnel."