Greek Government Hands European Creditors New Bailout Proposals
(This post was last updated at 4:48 p.m. ET.)
Just before the end of the day Thursday in Athens, the Greek government handed its European creditors a new bailout proposal.
A spokesman for Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem tweeted that Greece's creditors would now consider the proposal.
There has been no official word on the details of the proposal, but The Guardian reports that under the terms, Greece would accept the "severe austerity measures" its EU partners have insisted on in exchange for "a modest debt write-off."
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.
Realistic proposal from Athens needs to be matched by realistic proposal from creditors on debt sustainability to create win-win situation— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) July 9, 2015
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.
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