Greece to present new debt plan to EU | News | DW | 07.02.2015
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Greece to present new debt plan to EU

Athens has said it is preparing a comprehensive plan for managing the transition to a new debt deal. Newly elected Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will present his policy program to the Greek parliament on Sunday.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (photo, right) said on Saturday that he would hand his European Union counterparts an outline for a new debt and economic reform program next week.

"We will present a comprehensive proposal on Wednesday," he said, referring to the upcoming meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels.

Greece's cabinet met on Saturday for the third time in two days to thrash out the government's overall policy program, which Prime Minister Tsipras is expected to deliver in a speech before parliament on Sunday.

According to a government source quoted by news agency AFP, the three-hour meeting hammered out a three-year reform program. It also discussed a "stop-gap plan" through the end of June to meet the immediate needs of ordinary Greeks hit by austerity measures.

Greece's left-wing government took office on January 26 with plans to renegotiate the terms of its international bailout deal, roll back budget cuts and slash the country's pile of foreign debt.

The European portion of Greece's sizeable 240-billion euro ($275-billion) European Union-International Monetary Fund bailout is due to expire at the end of the month. The deadline means Athens is under pressure to do a quick deal or ask for an extension on its current bailout - a move Greece has resisted.

Instead, Athens says it wants "bridging" finance from its EU partners to keep it afloat until it has negotiated a new bailout deal "without pressure and blackmail."

This week Tsipras and Varoufakis toured several European cities, including London, Berlin, Rome, Paris, Brussels and Frankfurt, in a bid to build support for their plans.

Money problems

Meanwhile, Greek Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis on Saturday denied a report published in the Wall Street Journal that Greece would run out of cash next month.

"There will be no problem before the summer and an agreement is reached" with European partners, he said.

Greece is entitled to another 7.2 billion euros in loans under the 2010 bailout plan, but the government insists the terms imposed in exchange for the funds have taken a far too heavy a toll on the economy.

Greece will be on the agenda of the G20 finance ministers meeting in Istanbul on Sunday. Prime Minister Tsipras will sit down for his first talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a European summit in Brussels on Thursday.

nm/cmk (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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