The Latest: Greek Lawmakers Debate Reform Proposals

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


12:00 a.m.

Greek lawmakers have begun debating the government's reform proposals in a late-night parliament session due to end in a vote at 3 a.m.

The government has asked for lawmakers' endorsement to use the proposed measures as a basis for negotiation. If approved by creditors, who are to discuss the measures over the weekend, Greece will get a third bailout of more than 50 billion euros.

The measures include tax hikes and spending cuts very similar to ones Greeks rejected in a referendum last Sunday, but the reforms would bring a far larger aid package over a longer period of time.


10:10 p.m.

Greece's former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, says family obligations will keep him away from Friday night's parliament session to debate the government's proposed reforms in return for a third bailout.

The government has asked for parliament's approval to use the Greek proposals sent to creditors Thursday as the basis for negotiations with the creditors due to start Saturday. The vote is expected sometime overnight Friday.

Varoufakis tweeted that he would be spending the weekend with his daughter before she returns to Australia, where she lives. He sent parliament a letter saying he was voting in favor of the motion.


8:10 p.m.

Greece's new finance minister claims his country will win better terms for a bailout deal after calling a referendum, despite angering creditor countries.

In his first speech in parliament since becoming minister, Euclid Tsakalotos argued that the new proposed cuts are more socially fair than those in a previous draft agreement.

He told lawmakers: "I think after the referendum we are in a stronger position."

The proposed deal, he said, would provide three years of financing with repayments spaced more evenly than under previous bailouts. He said there was also growing consensus for the need for a long-term debt relief agreement by 2022, when interest payments are set to surge.

He added: "I think most of what we are aking for on debt relief is going to happen."


6:40 p.m.

Spanish Economy Minister Luis De Guindos is advising caution, not optimism, about Greece's reform proposals, which he says he hasn't seen yet.

The proposals are to be discussed by eurozone finance ministers on Saturday, ahead of an EU summit Sunday, following months of failed negotiations between Athens and creditors.

De Guindos said "I would be cautious" about the chances of the proposals bringing a deal.

Even so, he said the proposals moved Greece "back to a square before the referendum."


6:30 p.m.

A group of dissenters in Greece's governing Syriza party is urging the government to prepare to leave the euro and to reject any deal with creditors that involves more crippling austerity.

The group known as the Left Platform submitted a letter to Syriza lawmakers who met in parliament early Friday. In it, the group said an exit from the euro "under present conditions is a difficult but feasible process that will allow the country to follow a different path."

Syriza lawmakers met ahead of vote to authorize Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to negotiate a deal with creditors in Brussels this weekend.

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