D- Day for Greece with last gasp plan

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHARLES MI­RANDA in Athens

GREECE will to­day an­nounce it will en­act tax and pen­sion re­form in ex­change for a three­year fi­nan­cial bailout pack­age the Gov­ern­ment hopes will avert its col­lapse and keep the coun­try in the eu­ro­zone.

Af­ter a joc­u­lar start to a sum­mit on Tues­day that at­tracted the ire of EU lead­ers, Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras has now taken a more som­bre tone as he an­nounced new re­form mea­sures could be­gin as early as next week.

There was no de­tail be­hind his an­nounce­ment but he had un­til to­day to present to a scep­ti­cal EU fo­rum a cost- ac­counted re­form plan on the day branded Greece’s ab­so­lute last chance.

Mr Tsipras as­sured it would pro­vide a “de­fin­i­tive end” to his coun­try’s fi­nan­cial woes.

“We need to en­sure the medium- term fund­ing of our coun­try with a de­vel­op­ment and growth pro­gram,” he told EU politi­cians in Stras­bourg.

His words were greeted with pos­i­tiv­ity but cau­tion.

We need to en­sure the medium- term fund­ing of our coun­try with a de­vel­op­ment and growth pro­gram


Spain’s Prime Min­is­ter Mar­i­ano Ra­joy said: “The tune has changed, it’s not what we were hear­ing un­til now and that’s pos­i­tive.”

Many other EU lead­ers, how­ever, feared the “new” pack­age would in­clude old, al­ready re­jected fea­tures such as a re­quest for the EU to wipe off 30 per cent of the debt as a good­will ges­ture.

Such a move would be blocked by Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel with 100 of her own MPs threat­en­ing a re­bel­lion if she moves to back down. Opin­ion polls have also hard­ened, with 92 per cent of Ger­mans re­port­edly against a third bailout plan.

Greece has al­ready had two bailouts from its EU part­ners.

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