Greece proposals broadly accepted by creditors: economy minister

Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis said Monday that Greece’s international creditors had accepted the framework of new reforms proposed by Athens to try to reach a deal to save the country from default.

Stathakis told the BBC that he expected a “very positive communique” from a summit of eurozone leaders on Monday in response to the new proposals, which included new taxes on businesses and the wealthy.

“They have accepted that the new proposals of the Greek government is a proper framework on which to work on and, with some adjustments that will be the issue of discussion for the next day or so, we’ll end up with proper technical solution as well,” he said in an interview.

He added: “Our expectation is that there will be a very positive communique tonight underlying also the areas where the technical details have to be fixed in the next day or so.”

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the head of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, earlier told reporters after a meeting in Brussels that the new proposals to EU-IMF creditors represented an “opportunity” for a bailout deal this week.

But he said there had been “very little time” for the ministers to fully examine them ahead of the summit, and the Eurogroup would have another meeting later in the week.

Stathakis said the new proposals adhered to the Greek government’s determination not to cut pensions further.

“There will be new taxation on business and the wealthier part of society and we will save pensions and wages,” he said.

He added: “The red line is no further cuts in pensions and wages — we stick to this idea and I think we came up with alternative propositions which they are accepted.”

Asked if he was relieved by the apparent imminent breakthrough, Stathakis replied: “I am in a way.

“Because otherwise things could turn into an area and options that would be very disastrous both for the Greek economy, also I think for the European partners.”


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