The Latest: Greek Finance Official Resigns Over Austerity

Alexis Tsirpas

The latest on Greece's financial crisis (all times local):


2:30 p.m.

Greece's Alternate Finance Minister Nadia Valavani has resigned from government in protest over the austerity measures the country is asked to implement in exchange for a bailout.

Arriving in Parliament, Valavani said she was not going to vote in favor of the agreement, and that this meant she could not stay on as part of the government.

Earlier, Greece's finance ministry released a letter she had sent to the prime minister on Monday morning, saying that if he returned from Brussels having made commitments for harsh austerity measures she would be unable to continue as a member of the government.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to a deal Monday morning under which Greece must pass through parliament harsh austerity measures his left-wing government had long battled against in return for the start of negotiations on a third bailout of about 85 billion euros.


1:50 p.m.

The European Commission is proposing to give Greece 7 billion euros in loans from a special fund overseen by all 28 EU nations so it can meet debts due in coming days.

The loan would be made pending the start of a full bailout program agreed on between the 19 eurozone leaders on Monday.

Since Greece needs to meet debt payments as soon as next week, eurozone nations have been looking for a way to give it a first, quick loan. They are considering tapping a fund, the EFSM, which is backed by all 28 countries in the EU. The problem is that non-euro nation Britain does not want to help pay for Greece, which it considers a eurozone issue.

EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis says that dipping into the EFSM "is not an easy option" but says there are no other obvious options.

Once the full bailout package is operational, the initial loan could be repaid with money from the new program.

Domvrovskis adds that the Commission is looking for guarantees to protect non-euro nations on such a loan.


1:15 p.m.

An independent United Nations expert on foreign debt says Greece's creditors may break international law if the austerity measures they demand lead to undue hardship.

Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky says he is concerned about reported shortages of medicines and food caused partly by restrictions on money transfers.

He says in a statement Wednesday that European institutions, the International Monetary Fund and the Greek government must ensure that any bailout deal safeguards the right to health care, food and social security.

Bohoslavsky says "there is real legal risk that some of the harsh austerity measures could be incompatible with European and international human rights law."

He is scheduled to visit Greece Nov. 30 to Dec. 7.


11:45 a.m.

Greece's finance ministry says the banks will remain closed through Thursday.

The ministry says the transactions that can be carried out at the few bank branches that are allowed to open are being broadened. Apart from allowing pensioners without bank cards to withdraw 120 euros per week, they will also process payments for credit card bills, debts to the state like taxes and utility bills, and the payment of insurance company bills.

They will also allow the transfer of funds between accounts in the same bank.

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