Greek Cabinet Meets On Proposal Amid Calls For A Compromise

July 9, 2015

Greece has until the end of today to turn in new proposals to secure a fresh bailout from its creditors amid calls for debt restructuring for the beleaguered country, a sign Greece’s future in the eurozone may be secure for now.

Greece’s Cabinet council is meeting in Athens today to decide on the proposal. Here’s what would happen next:

The country’s creditors — the European Bank, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — will meet Friday to discuss the proposals.

On Saturday, July 11, the proposal will be taken up by finance ministers from the eurozone.

Sunday, July 12, is the key day. Eurogroup leaders and all 28 members of the EU will meet in Brussels. That meeting could see Greece’s plan approved and pave the way for a new bailout for Greece. Failure will likely see a Greek exit from the eurozone, a move that could have profound implications not only for Greece but for the rest of the region’s economy.

As we have previously reported, Greece has received commitments of $244 billion from various countries and organizations as part of two bailouts, in 2010 and 2012. (The Wall Street Journal has an excellent interactive that explains what Greece owes its creditors and when payments are due.)

Many experts believe that debt, which is 177 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, is unsustainable for a country that has not recovered from the 2008 financial crisis. Indeed, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew added his voice to calls for “Europe [to] … restructure the debt in a way that is more sustainable.” Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, one of Greece’s toughest critics, echoed those calls.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, added his voice Thursday:

But some European countries, especially Germany, have been reluctant.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, on a visit to Bosnia on Thursday, appeared to rule out a “haircut” on Europe’s loans to Greece.

“I have said that a classic haircut is out of the question for me and that hasn’t changed between yesterday and today,” she said, according to Reuters.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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