Greece makes new pro­pos­als aimed at end­ing bailout im­passe

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY NI­CHOLAS PAPHI­TIS

Greece has made new pro­pos­als in­tend­ing to end a long stand­off with in­ter­na­tional bailout cred­i­tors and un­lock vi­tally needed res­cue funds, of­fi­cials in Athens and Brussels said Tues­day.

An of­fi­cial in the rad­i­cal left- led gov­ern­ment said the sug­ges­tions were sub­mit­ted Mon­day to the Euro­pean Union’s eco­nomic and mon­e­tary af­fairs chief, Pierre Moscovici, in Brussels.

He said the doc­u­ments in­cluded al­ter­na­tive ideas on bud­get mea­sures re­quired for cred­i­tors to ap­prove the bailout pay­ment, and pro­pos­als on “a work­able plan” to ren­der Greece’s crush­ing debt load vi­able. No fur­ther de­tails were made public.

The sub­mis­sion fol­lows last week’s im­passe, when bailout cred­i­tors re­sponded to a 47-page Greek pro­posal with a brief counter- of­fer that Athens re­jected as con­tain­ing “ab­surd” mea­sures that would hurt the econ­omy and worsen the lot of Greeks al­ready reel­ing from five years of deep cuts and soar­ing un­em­ploy­ment.

The two sides mainly dis­agree on cred­i­tors’ de­mands for Athens to raise the sales tax on food, medicine and power bills, aban­don plans to im­prove la­bor pro­tec­tion laws and fur­ther cut pen­sions. Th­ese would be ex­tremely hard for the new gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment — less than five months af­ter its elec­tion on a com­bat­ive anti- aus­ter­ity plat­form.

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