The Latest: Spanish Finance Chief Urges Caution on Greece

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


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.

His government submitted a list of reforms to creditors late Thursday in order to win support for a new financial rescue of the country. So far, most of the responses to the proposals have been positive.


6:20 p.m.

The president of Cyprus says the Greek government's reform proposals to its creditors are much improved from previous versions and that there's a "solid basis" for an agreement to prevent the country from going bankrupt.

President Nicos Anastasiades says he's "more optimistic" now than he was in the past few days when there was much uncertainty whether Greece would meet a Thursday deadline to submit the proposals.

Anastasiades said he fully supports the restructuring of Greece's debt to make it more sustainable which would help the country overcome its economic crisis.

He said debt relief doesn't necessarily mean a write-off, but an agreement could see repayment deadlines extended and interest rates slashed.

Anastasiades was speaking after talks aimed at reunifying ethnically divided Cyprus with breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.


5:40 p.m.

The International Monetary Fund's outgoing chief economist thinks Greece may need more money than the fund thought even last week.

In a blog post, Olivier Blanchard said Greece will likely need more than the 60 billion euros or so that the Fund indicated in a report last week. He said a big portion of the additional help is needed to help Greece's banks which are exposed to shaky Greek government bonds and have been fighting an outflow of deposits.

Blanchard also said Greece may need more generous debt relief than anticipated and that Greece's European creditors considered the analysis "as too pessimistic."

Greece has sent creditors a list of reform proposals in order to get 53.5 billion euros ($59.5 billion) of financing for three years and is hopeful of getting some sort of debt relief in return.


4:05 p.m.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has expressed cautious optimism that Greece's latest offer could resolve a debt standoff and allow the country to stay in the eurozone.

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