Greece debt crisis, a new reform plan to break deadlock

Greece has submitted a plan of economic reforms totalling €13bn late on Thursday, in order to get a three-year €53.5bn loan. The measures proposed by Alexis Tsipras leftist government include tax rises, pension reforms, privatisation and public spending cuts. Athens needs a third bailout to avoid a default and to prevent a possible euro exit.

On Friday, the greek parliament is set to discuss and vote the plan. The proposals will be considered by Eurozone finance ministers on Saturday and by European union leaders at a summit in Brussels on Sunday. The measures include:

– tax rise on shipping companies and scrapping tax discounts for islands
– unifying VAT rates at standard 23%, including restaurants and catering
– phasing out solidarity grant for pensioners by 2019
– €300m ($332m; £216m) defence spending cuts by 2016

An austerity measures package was rejected by more than 60 % of Greek voters last week, when a referendum was held on July, the 5th: since then, the Syriza-led executive has strenghtened its political mandate and refused to accept troika financial diktats. Although it seems that Tsipras wants to concede, in this last round of talks, the harsh reforms claimed by European commission, International monetary fund and European central bank, it now demands, in return, more than in the past: it aims at a renegotiation and restructuring of its huge debt, which reachs €320 bn.


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