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article imageLast-ditch offer could save Greece from bankruptcy

By Nathan Salant     Jun 22, 2015 in World
Athens - Electioneering was never like this!
Down to its last day before an emergency summit on his country's future in the European Union, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made a new offer Sunday to keep international bailout loans coming.
Tsipras, elected in January on an anti-austerity platform, has been placed under immense international pressure almost immediately by Greece's looming debt crisis, which could lead to Greece's expulsion from the European currency.
Of course, international observers could not immediately tell whether Greece's new proposal meets demands from lenders — primarily, the European Union, IMF and European Central Bank — for more tax hikes and budget cuts, but the existence of the offer has raised new hope in Europe that the latest crisis still can be resolved and stop Greek depositors from withdrawing billions of euros from the country's banks.
French President Francois Hollande said on a visit to Milan that creditors would be meeting Sunday afternoon to discuss Greece's new proposals, according to the Reuters news service.
"The prime minister presented the three leaders Greece's proposal for a mutually beneficial agreement that will give a definitive solution and not a postponement of addressing the problem," Tsipras's office said Sunday in a written statement.
Officials with the Greek government have suggested that Tsipras might be open to increases in value-added taxes to avoid additional pension cuts, Reuters said.
"There is no time to lose -- every day counts," Hollande said at a news conference with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy.
"Talks and negotiations must continue so that an agreement is reached," Hollande said.
Greece is trying to get a deal this month to avoid running out of cash before a 1.6 billion IMF loan payment due June 30.
Greece's deputy finance minister said Sunday that his country had enough money to pay public sector wages and pensions for June.
But the recent run on deposits in Greek banks — 4 billion euros were withdrawn last week — could force Greece to impose capital controls that would increase the country's air of desperation.
Greece's economic output has declined 25 percent, wages and pensions cut and the jobless rate has soared to 25 percent under austerity measures imposed by the country's lenders, Reuters said.
But attitudes have been hardening against Greece in other European capitals that help fund the bailout loans, including Germany, Reuters said.
More about Politics, Greece, Euro, European union, Bankruptcy
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