Greece's prime minister to sell austerity deal to reluctant party
Greece's prime minister to sell austerity deal to reluctant party
Greek bailout vote puts Syriza party rebellion to the test

Based on Reports Published between Fri Jul 10 18:40:44 2015 and Wed Jul 22 16:04:47 2015

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Information from Fri Jul 10 18:40:44 2015 :

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If the proposal is approved, Greece would get a three-year loan package worth nearly $60 billion (53.5 billion euros) as well as some form of debt relief.

"One way or the other, it is a very major decision we need to take."

The lenders' backing is crucial for euro zone leaders to support the proposals.

Dijsselbloem, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde discussed the plan in a teleconference.

The euro gained more than 1 percent against the dollar and European markets rallied on the improved prospects for a last-ditch deal to keep Greece in the currency area.

Italian, Spanish and Portuguese bond yields fell, reflecting perceptions of reduced risk.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations, said Tsipras told Lew that Greece has proven that it does want to strike a deal but that the viability of any agreement must acknowledge what the Greek people has gone through in the last five years.

Greece still has to overcome hardening attitudes towards it among euro zone partners.

Some, including a senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, greeted the latest reform proposals with scepticism. Slovakia's finance minister questioned whether the proposals went far enough.

Finance ministers of the 19-nation euro area will meet on Saturday to decide whether to recommend opening negotiations on a third bailout program despite exasperation at the five-year-old Greek crisis.

A senior EU official said the Eurogroup talks would include discussions on whether Greece needs some debt relief. Greece asked for 53.5 billion euros ($59 billion) to help cover its debts until 2018, a review of primary budget surplus targets in the light of the sharp deterioration of its economy, and a "reprofiling" of the country's long-term debt. Any deal would also have to be endorsed by national parliaments including in Germany, which must also formally approve the loan negotiations being started.

Estonia's parliament was the first to give the government conditional authorization for loan negotiations with Greece, provided the Commission finds sufficient basis for the talks.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to talk publicly, said ministers wanted "more specific and binding commitments" and that the Greek government's proposals were "too little, too late."

A small group of pensioners held a protest outside the finance ministry in Athens and an anti-austerity demonstration is planned for Friday evening. "The new measures are suffocating," said Irini Skordara, 79, one of dozens of pensioners queuing outside a bank to withdraw their pension.

Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who alienated many euro zone partners with his outspoken lectures, said in a statement he supported the effort to renegotiate Greece's debt but was unable to attend parliament "for family reasons". The latest offer includes defense spending cuts, a timetable for privatizing state assets such as Piraeus port and regional airports, hikes in value added tax for hotels and restaurants and slashing a top-up payment for poorer pensioners.

"The 'No' in the referendum appears to be turning into a 'Yes' from Tsipras," Commerzbank analyst Markus Koch said.

Greek banks have been closed since June 29, when capital controls were imposed and cash withdrawals rationed after the collapse of previous bailout talks. Greece defaulted on an IMF loan repayment and now faces a critical July 20 bond redemption to the ECB, which it cannot make without aid. The country has had two bailouts worth 240 billion euros from the euro zone and the IMF since 2010, but its economy has shrunk by a quarter, unemployment is at more than 25 percent and one in two young people is out of work.

Following the vote, where many leftists in his own party were stunned by his acceptance of previously spurned austerity measures, Tsipras said he would now focus on securing a deal. Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras sought his party's backing today for a new budget austerity package that is harsher than what he urged Greeks to reject in a vote just last week, but would provide the country will longer-term financial support.

Six sweeping measures including tax and pension reforms must be enacted by Wednesday night and the entire package endorsed by parliament before talks can start, a draft decision by Eurogroup finance ministers sent to the leaders showed.

If approved, Greece would in return get a three-year package of loans worth nearly $60 billion as well as some form of debt relief. The package would be far larger than the 7.2 billion euros creditors had been offering to Greece during the previous five months of fruitless negotiations. The document included a German proposal to make Greece take a "time-out" from the euro zone if it fails to meet the conditions. The new package of loans would be Greece's third bailout programme since it lost access to financing from bond markets in 2010.

In an unusual move, Mr Tsipras is first seeking authorisation from parliament to negotiate with the creditors based on the proposal in a vote. He is essentially asking his Syriza party to sign off on measures that to many feel like a U-turn since more than 60 per cent of voters opposed more austerity in last Sunday's referendum. Mr Tsipras convened his party's policy-makers for closed-door discussions this morning before the parliamentary debate. Speaking earlier in the debate that began just before midnight Friday, Tsipras acknowledged the reforms his government has proposed were harsh and include measures far from his party's election pledges, but insisted they were Greece's best chance to emerge from its financial crisis.

Votes are usually held at midnight, but they can go later. The coalition government has 162 seats in the 300-member parliament and pledged backing on a deal from a large section of opposition policy-makers. But failure to deliver votes from his own government could topple Mr Tsipras's coalition.

The proposals are to be discussed by eurozone finance ministers tomorrow ahead of a summit of the European Union's 28 leaders on Sunday.

A finance ministry spokesman ruled out any debt restructuring that would lower its real value.

France, Greece's strongest supporter in the euro zone, rushed to offer praise.

President Francois Hollande called the offer "serious and credible".

Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem described it as a "thorough piece of text" but declined to go into specifics.

He also confirmed that a temporary Greek exit from the eurozone was now on the cards The Greek Prime Minister is realising the catastrophic implications of not getting immediate funding, he has just told reporters in Brussels.

"His decision to accept a tough package of measures will ensure the country stays in the euro. This is not the time for gripes and assessing the damage, what's most important is securing the country's interests and its place in the euro zone."

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives for a session of the ruling Syriza's leftist party parliamentary group at the Parliament building in Athens, Greece July 10, 2015. Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos attends a session of ruling Syriza's leftist party parliamentary group at the Parliament building in Athens, Greece July 10, 2015. Pensioners line up to receive part of their pension at a National Bank branch in Athens, Greece July 10, 2015.

"If we have draft bills and if we have the prospect of a vote in the Greek parliament, there will be confidence."

On Thursday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble also said the possibility of some kind of debt relief would be discussed over coming days. He added: "I think most of what we are aking for on debt relief is going to happen."

France's Socialist government has been among Greece's few allies in the eurozone during the past months of tough negotiations.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who chairs the meetings of the eurozone finance ministers known as the eurogroup, said the proposals were "extensive" but would not say whether he considered them sufficient. On Friday, Dijsselbloem will hold a conference call with the leaders of other key creditors, the EU's executive Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. They are then expected to send their assessment of the proposal to the eurozone finance ministers later.

As the government inched closer to a deal to ensure Greece doesn't crash out of Europe's joint currency, some Greeks were furious at the deep spending cuts in the proposals.

"If this is Europe, then we don't want this Europe," said Aristidis Dimoupulos, a marketing professor in Athens.

"If this is the eurozone, we don't care if we go out or in.

If in this life we'll be slaves, it's better to be dead."

Others adopted a `wait and see' approach.

"I don't know.

The chances are fifty-fifty" for a deal, said Athens resident Omiros Fotiadis.

Meanwhile, in Greece, banks remained shut since the start of last week and cash withdrawals were restricted to 60 euros ($67) per day.

Although credit and debit cards work freely within the country, many businesses are refusing to accept them and insisting on cash-only payments.

All money transfers abroad, including bill payments, require special permission.

Finance minister Dimitris Mardas said the banks would be gradually restored to operation.

They are currently due to remain closed until Monday, at which time he said a new order would be issued expanding what transactions can be carried out.

"On paper it is not good enough yet — and even if it is good on paper, then we still have the question: will it really happen?"

Rallies backing and opposing the government are planned in central Athens this evening.

Syriza had resisted a new loans-for-austerity deal, arguing the country is too weak to endure it, with a quarter of the labor force out of work and a growing number living in poverty.

But it was forced to resume talks with the creditors as the Greek banks faced the prospect of collapse within days if the country did not receive a new rescue package. Athens finally issued its proposals late Thursday. In return for the new package, the government said it would seek debt relief -- a notion gaining ground internationally despite reluctance in Germany. minute concessions to try to save the country from financial meltdown.

Euro zone partners appeared to be preparing for a deal to keep Greece in the euro zone.

After walking into a party meeting to applause, Tsipras tried to rally his Syriza lawmakers behind the new proposals ahead of a snap vote in parliament expected late on Friday. But he urged lawmakers to help Greece stay with the euro.

"We are confronted with crucial decisions," Tspiras told his party caucus, according to a Greek official.

"The high figures for financing needs over the next three years may be too high and too sudden," one euro zone source said. "We are all in this together."

The latest reform package was strikingly similar to the terms Greeks rejected in a referendum just last Sunday, angering members of the Syriza's hardline Left Platform wing.

But French President Francois Hollande, Greece's strongest ally in the euro zone, dismissed the notion, saying it would start a dangerous unraveling of EU integration. "The proposals are not compatible with the Syriza program," Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, who belongs to the far-left faction, told Reuters.

He declined to say how he would vote in the plenary ballot expected early on Saturday morning.

"We will take it step by step."

Even with a rebellion from within his own ranks, Tsipras was assured of backing from opposition lawmakers to carry the vote, but his political position would be weakened. Tsipras has called a snap vote in parliament asking for its backing to negotiate a list of "prior actions" - measures his government would take to convince creditors of its intent ahead of negotiations and to secure the first disbursement.

A one Euro coin with a Greek owl is seen in this picture illustration taken in Rome, Italy July 9, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras leaves his office in Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece July 9, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is seen in the Parliament in Athens, Greece July 9, 2015.

A pro-Euro protester holds a European Union and a Greek national flag during a rally in front of the parliament building in Athens, Greece, July 9, 2015. Protesters hold European Union and Greek flags during a Pro-Euro rally in front of the parliament building in Athens, Greece, July 9, 2015. A protester holds a European Union flag with the Euro logo during a Pro-Euro rally in front of the parliament building in Athens, Greece, July 9, 2015.

Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos (L) and former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis talk during a parliamentary session in Athens July 9, 2015. Pensioners wait in front of the main entrance of a National Bank branch to receive part of their pensions in central Athens July 9, 2015.

A bank official (L) informs people queueing for the ATM that it is working again in central Athens, Greece July 9, 2015. Graffiti is seen scrawled onto a wall of a bank in central Athens, Greece July 9, 2015. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker meets Dora Bakoyannis (R), member of the Greek opposition New Democracy party, at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, July 9, 2015.

A pensioner (R) stands outside a National Bank branch as others line up to receive part of their pensions in the city of Thessaloniki, Greece July 9, 2015. A pensioner (C) reacts as she tries to enter a National Bank branch to receive part of her pension in the city of Thessaloniki, Greece July 9, 2015.

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Information from Fri Jul 10 18:40:48 2015 :
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Greek Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis says lawmakers from the governing Syriza party who disagree with government's bailout policy should resign and give up their seats in parliament.

He says ministers of different countries, including Malta, are exploring ways of extending the present agreement but could not favour a debt haircut.

Following months of deteriorating relations, creditors are demanding firm legislative action to back up the proposals. "I want to state clearly, I am not afraid of Grexit," he said, referring to the possibility of Greece leaving the euro.

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

The group known as the Left Platform submitted a letter to Syriza lawmakers who met in parliament early Friday. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country is the biggest contributor to euro zone bailouts, said the conditions were not yet right to start negotiations, sounding cautious in deference to mounting opposition at home to more aid for Greece.

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. 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.

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

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wants a deal to pave the way to ECB help as soon as Monday, the official said, while European creditors would prefer to wait until the Greek Parliament passes several austerity measures. 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.

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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Information from Fri Jul 10 19:40:44 2015 :
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Greece, they said, needed to do a lot more than just publish a 13-page plan of reform commitments before they could sign off on another multibillion-euro bailout deal that would keep the country afloat and prevent its exit from the euro.

The proposal was debated at committee level this afternoon.

He was due to hold a conference call with the leaders of other key creditors, the EU's executive Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Meanwhile, banks remained shut since the start of last week and cash withdrawals were restricted to €60 per day.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 00:40:59 2015 :
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The proposed deal, he said, would provide three years of financing with repayments spaced more evenly than under previous bailouts.

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.

As things stand now, can't pay its debts. and even, it seems, Germany's finance minister Greece's creditors have indicated they could agree under certain conditions to ease the terms of Greece's debt, which stood at 317 billion euros ($355 billion) as of the end of last year. About 80 percent of that is owed to the other eurozone governments, the IMF and the .

So a debt restructuring there wouldn't hurt investors, roil markets, or destabilize banks.

Creditors could stretch out the loan repayment dates, as they have already for some of them. For instance, final repayment of the last of 52.9 billion euros in loans from a 2010 bailout has already been extended from 2026 to 2041. The IMF has proposed doubling repayment periods on other loans to 40 years. Greece hopes enough progress will be made at Saturday's finance ministers meeting to allow EU government leaders on Sunday to formally back a bailout program. an amount of time before it has to start repaying its loans. The IMF recommends doubling the grace period on some of its loans to 20 years.

Interest rates, usually set in relation to common market interest rate indexes, could be lowered, or capped at today's very low levels. Loan principal could be forgiven, though that faces political resistance from creditor countries.

A recent analysis by the IMF said that under conservative estimates of Greece's ability to pay, actual debt reduction would be necessary to get the country's debt level trending convincingly downward.

European Council President Donald Tusk announced that he had called off the tentatively planned meeting of EU heads of state and government, saying the euro zone summit to start at 4 p. m. Long-term, the best way to reduce debt is growth, which shrinks the debt pile compared to the size of the economy.

Creditors have pressed Greece to tackle the red tape and corruption choking their economy.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 01:41:10 2015 :
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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.

Although he sent a letter saying he would have voted in favor had he been present, it could not be counted among the 'yes' votes under parliamentary rules.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 01:41:15 2015 :
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The country has relied on bailout funding since losing access to financing from bond markets in 2010.

In an unusual move, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called Friday's emergency parliament session to try win the backing of reluctant members of his left-wing Syriza party essentially asking them to sign off on measures that seem like a U-turn after more than 60 percent of voters opposed more austerity in last Sunday's referendum.

Procedural issues led to the start of the debate being delayed until midnight, with a vote expected in the early hours of Saturday. But the new proposal, if approved by Greece's international creditors, will provide longer-term financial support for a nation that has endured six years of recession. 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.

Helsinki's stance has hardened since the populist Finns Party joined a right-wing coalition that took office in May. In Athens overnight, Tsipras had to rely on opposition votes from the right in parliament after some of his leftist lawmakers resisted spending cuts, tax rises and other measures he proposed in order to unlock 54 billion euros in three-year credit.

If approved, Greece would in turn get a three-year loan package worth nearly $60 billion (53.5 billion euros) as well as some form of debt relief A pro-Euro demonstrator holds a European Union flag in front of Greek Parliament during a rally at Syntagma square in Athens, Thursday, July 9, 2015. Hopes that Greece can get a rescue deal that will prevent a catastrophic exit from the euro rose on Thursday, after key creditors said they were open to discussing how to ease the country's debt load, a long-time sticking point in their talks. The Associated Press A pro-Euro demonstrator holds a European Union flag in front of Greek Parliament during a rally at Syntagma square in Athens, Thursday, July 9, 2015.

The Associated Press Greek lawmakers braced for an all-night parliament session Friday as the country's prime minister sought to rally support for tough austerity measures designed to win approval for a third bailout.

But a significant loss of votes from his own government could topple Tsipras' coalition. the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and other eurozone nations were already fine-combing through the proposals before sending them to the other 18 eurozone finance ministers Saturday. in Brussels was to consider them on Sunday, with hopes for a deal before midnight.

French President Francois Hollande described the measures as "serious and credible," though Germany refused to be drawn on their merits. France's Socialist government has been among Greece's few allies in the eurozone during the past months of tough negotiations, with Germany taking a far harder line.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 01:41:16 2015 :
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In a speech with a strongly personal tone, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says he negotiated as hard as he could and admits his government had made mistakes during his barely six-month tenure as he fought to win bailout funds for his debt-ridden country. Speaking in a late-night parliament session, Tsipras described the last few months as a war in which difficult battles were fought and some were lost.

"Now I have the feeling we've reached the demarked line. From here on there is a minefield," he said.

But he insisted the latest proposal contains measures that would help the economy and, if approved by Greece's creditors, would unlock sufficient financing for the country to emerge from its protracted crisis and see its massive debt tackled.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 02:40:49 2015 :
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Greek Defense Minister and leader of minor coalition party Independent Greeks Panos Kammenos delivers his speech as he attends a parliamentary session in Athens, Greece, July 11, 2015.

Anti-Euro protesters attend an anti-austerity rally in central Athens, Greece, July 10, 2015. Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos (L) talks with Minister of State Alekos Flambouraris as they attend a parliamentary session in Athens, Greece, July 10, 2015. A pensioner receives part of his pension at a National Bank branch at the city of Iraklio in the island of Crete, Greece July 10, 2015. Anti-austerity protesters gather in front of the parliament during a rally in Athens, Greece, July 10, 2015. Underlining the unhappiness of many on the left at the government's apparent embrace of austerity, a few thousand demonstrators gathered in front of parliament before the vote to protest against the measures.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appealed to parliament to back a tough reform package to try to save Greece from financial collapse, with European Union and IMF officials offering a positive early assessment of the measures. European heads of governments are due to meet in Brussels this afternoon to decide the fate of Greece, with the 19 states of the euro zone deeply split over whether or not to accept reform proposals put forward by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. "We are asked to take difficult decisions, we will stand up to this responsibility, and we will meet it," Tsipras said in a speech seeking the backing of lawmakers for the package.

Experts from the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund spent Friday reviewing the Greek case for aid and the proposals for economic reforms that will be conditions for any loans. The positive evaluation, along with a conclusion that Athens needs a total of some 74 billion euros to meet its obligations, will form a key part of discussions among euro zone finance ministers when they meet in Brussels at 3 p. m.

With the centrist To Potami party and the center-right New Democracy opposition parties promising to vote with the government, the proposal is expected to pass easily.

The leader of the right wing Independent Greeks party, the junior coalition party in Tsipras' government, said his lawmakers would back the proposals "with a heavy heart".

However, even if the measure appears certain to clear the parliamentary vote in Athens, deep unease in the Syriza ranks could leave Tsipras with no majority of his own and raise questions over how long his government may last.

Several protests against the package took place on Friday.

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The Greek parliament voted overwhelmingly on Saturday in favor of authorizing the left-wing government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to negotiate with international creditors on the basis of a reform program unveiled this week.

Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, Deputy Labour Minister Dimitris Stratoulis as well as the speaker of parliament, Zoe Constantopoulou, all called "Present", in effect abstaining from the vote and withholding their support from the government.

A total of 251 voted 'Yes', 32 voted 'No' and 8 'Present', while 9 deputies were absent.



Information from Sat Jul 11 03:41:06 2015 :
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Making more concessions, though, will be tough on the Greek government since the shadow of severe dissent from governing lawmakers was already hanging over it.

The official vote count for Greece's parliament vote to back reform proposals has been announced, with 251 lawmakers voting in favor, 32 against and 8 voting 'present' The vote in the 300-member parliament was to authorize the government to use its reform proposals as a basis for negotiation with Greece's international creditors.

Those abstaining or absent from the vote included prominent governing Syriza party members such as Parliament Speaker Zoe Konstantopoulou, indicating a potentially severe dissent problem that could threaten the government's majority in Parliament. The governing coalition of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' Syriza party and the small Independent Greeks hold 162 seats. The numbers were still being tallied but an initial count indicated that two Syriza lawmakers voted against Tsipras' proposal, seven were absent including former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and eight voted present in the procedure in the early hours of Saturday. The motion, which sought to authorize the government to use the proposal as a basis for negotiation with international creditors during the weekend, passed with 251 votes in favor, 32 against and 8 voting 'present' But it was a stark indication of how against the party's initial promise the proposals were, and could cause a problem for Tsipras' coalition government. Greek lawmakers have approved a government motion seeking authorization for reform proposals as a basis for negotiations for a third bailout in talks with international creditors this weekend.

The 300-member parliament passed the motion by majority vote, but Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras saw some of the lawmakers of his left-wing Syriza party vote "present" instead of approving the motion a form of abstention indicating dissent from their own party line.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 04:40:48 2015 :
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But in an ominous sign for the stability of the Greek government, 10 members on the ruling benches abstained or voted against the measures and another seven were absent, leaving Tsipras short of the 151 seats needed for a majority of his own.

The dissenters included two ministers - Panagiotis Lafazanis who holds the energy portfolio and Dimitris Stratoulis who holds the social security portfolio - and prominent party member and Parliament Speaker Zoe Konstantopoulou. Cambadelis, who leads the management of President Francois Hollande's Socialist Party, said in a statement that Europeans "do not understand the German over-reaction." Former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, who resigned this week, was absent for family reasons, saying on Twitter he was spending the weekend with his daughter who was visiting from Australia.

The new measures overturn many of the election promises of Tsipras' left-wing Syriza party, which had vowed to overturn bailout austerity, and come less than a week after 61 percent of voters opposed similar reforms, proposed by creditors, in last Sunday's referendum. Eurozone finance ministers meet Saturday afternoon, followed by a summit of the 28-nation European Union set for Sunday.

"There is no doubt that for six months now we've been in a war," he said, adding that his government had fought "difficult battles" and had lost some of them. From here on there is a minefield, and I don't have the right to dismiss this or hide it from the Greek people," he said.

Without a deal, Greece faces the immediate prospect of crashing out of Europe's joint currency, the euro. It would be the first nation to do so. That is far more than the 7.2 billion euros left over from Greece's previous bailout that had been at stake in the country's five-month negotiations until last month. Greece's parliament backed the government's reform plan containing austerity measures to win a third bailout early Saturday, but with the government suffering significant losses from dissenting lawmakers.

"I am afraid of one thing: national division and civil war." He said he feared failure to get a deal with creditors would eventually lead to civil strife. The party holds 13 seats in the 300-member parliament.

Meanwhile, banks remained closed since the start of last week and cash withdrawals were restricted to 60 euros ($67) per day. 11, 2015: Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras laughs during a parliament meeting in Athens. Greece's major creditors -- the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and other eurozone nations -- were already fine-combing through the proposals before sending them to the other 18 eurozone finance ministers Saturday.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 04:41:09 2015 :
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German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who has taken a hard line on Greece over recent months, said the Greek government will have to do a lot more than just say it wants to reform if it's going to get more money. raising questions about the stability of his government.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 05:40:50 2015 :
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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (C) is congratulated by lawmakers after a voting session at the Parliament in Athens, Greece, July 11, 2015.

The austerity measures Tsipras is proposing are so far from his radical left Syriza party's policies that he faced severe dissent in a late-night parliamentary debate that culminated in a 3:30 a. m. Prominent left-wingers in his Syriza party signaled before the vote that they could not support the mix of tax hikes and spending cuts proposed by Tsipras, following the rejection of similar austerity measures by voters in Sunday's referendum.

"The government is being totally blackmailed to acquiesce to something which does not reflect what it represents," Constantopoulou said.

"The parliament today gave the government a strong mandate to complete the negotiations and reach an economically viable and socially fair agreement with its partners," he said. "The priority now is to have a positive outcome to the negotiations.

France and Italy are leading those backing Greek proposals made on Thursday.

The measures, which received an initial nod from European Union and International Monetary Fund officials before a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Saturday, were passed with the support of pro-European opposition parties. With Greece's banks shut and completely dependent on a credit lifeline from the European Central Bank, the measures were seen as a last chance to avert the collapse of the financial system and prevent Greece from being pushed out of the euro. But after the jubilation in Athens on Sunday following the resounding rejection of further austerity in a referendum, there was bitterness that parliament was being asked to accept a strikingly similar package of measures.

Dijsselbloem, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, ECB President Mario Draghi and IMF head Christine Lagarde discussed the plan in a teleconference. Experts from the European Commission, ECB and the IMF spent Friday reviewing the Greek case for aid and the proposals for economic reforms that will be conditions for any loans.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 06:40:53 2015 :
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It passed with 251 votes in favor, 32 against and 8 voting 'present' - a form of abstention - in the 300-member parliament. Greece's major creditors - the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and other eurozone nations - were already fine-combing through the proposals before sending them to the other 18 eurozone finance ministers Saturday.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 06:41:13 2015 :
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Greece's negotiators head to Brussels on Saturday armed with their reform proposals and...

The plans contain tax hikes and deep spending cuts, including on pensions, that the six-month-old left-wing government had so far resisted. Without a deal Greece, already desperately low on cash, its banks shut for the past two weeks and its population restricted on cash withdrawals, risks crashing out of Europe's joint currency, the euro. raising questions about the stability of Tspras' government, a coalition of Syriza and the small nationalist Independent Greeks. he was spending the weekend with his daughter who was visiting from .

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You need Javascript and either Adobe Flash or Html5 to view this video. Experts from the European Commission, ECB and the IMF spent yesterday reviewing the Greek case for aid and the proposals for economic reforms that will be conditions for any loans.



Information from Sat Jul 11 09:40:49 2015 :
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The Finance Minister told the Times of Malta that he did not foresee problems of a technical nature since the cash-for-reforms plan put forward by the Greek government was largely a re-hash of the proposals which were on the table last week, before the Greek referendum. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat used identical words to describe the Greek proposals yesterday. "The three institutions have made a first joint assessment of the Greek reform proposals submitted Thursday night. Under certain conditions, they jointly see the proposals as a basis for negotiating an ESM programme.

This assessment was sent to the Eurogroup president last night," the official said.

That recommendation is an important step before the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers meets at 3pm in Brussels to decide on Athens' request for help from their European Stability Mechanism bailout fund.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 11:40:54 2015 :
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But if approved by Greece's international creditors, the deal would also provide longer-term financial support for a nation that has endured six years of recession, and address the country's debt which the government has long argued is unsustainable. 11, 2015: Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras laughs during a parliament meeting in Athens.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 12:41:43 2015 :
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A Greek official gave no further details about the meeting, which also included , who chairs meetings of European leaders.

The Greek parliament early Saturday passed the bailout proposals package with 251 votes in favor and 32 against. In Brussels, a source close to the negotiations said the international creditors saw the Greek package "under certain conditions ... as a basis for discussion" at Saturday's meeting of the 19 eurozone finance ministers. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks, says creditors were still looking stronger commitments, tighter deadlines and more urgent action on several issues highlighted in the Greek proposals.

Among the dissenters on the vote were two of Tsipras's ministers Gatopoulos reported from Athens.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 13:40:54 2015 :
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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reacts during a voting session at the Parliament in Athens, Greece, July 11, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (front, R) is applauded as he delivers a speech during a voting session at the Parliament in Athens, Greece, July 11, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speaks during a parliamentary session in Athens, Greece July 11, 2015.

"No one wants to see a North Korea in southeastern Europe," a European Commission official said.

He added that EU and IMF experts estimated Greece's needs at 82 billion euros, factoring in cash to come from the IMF and other EU sources.

A spokesman for German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble declined comment on a newspaper report that he found Tsipras's proposals inadequate and would oppose further talks. He said the outcome of Saturday's talks remained "completely open".

Schaeuble, as well as French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, arrived more than two hours early, as did new Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos.

A positive assessment of the Greek proposals delivered by the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund late on Friday, along with bullish comments from Athens' key euro zone ally France, had raised expectations that the Eurogroup would give a green light to new loan negotiations. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made clear she does not want to see a "Grexit" that could disrupt a fragile European economic recovery and undermine a supposedly irreversible union.

However, she faces stiff opposition among her own conservatives.

Euro zone leaders, including Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, are due to meet on Sunday, either to endorse a decision to open talks on a new bailout or if, along with other EU leaders, to take steps to contain the fallout from a looming Greek bankruptcy.

A fishmonger waits for customers in a local market in central Athens, Greece, July 11, 2015. A lottery ticket vendor waits for customers in a local market in central Athens, Greece, July 11, 2015. A placard that reads 'NO' in Greek is seen on a far-right Golden Dawn party lawmaker's desk during a parliamentary session in Athens, Greece, July 11, 2015. "The government is being totally blackmailed," Constantopoulou said.

In addition to cash from the euro zone, if Greece makes payments it missed last month to the IMF, the global lender still has a facility to lend Greece some 16 billion euros. After the jubilation in Athens last Sunday following the resounding rejection of further austerity in a referendum, there was bitterness that parliament was being asked to accept a strikingly similar package of measures. year credit and save Greece from a bankruptcy that would force it out of the euro zone.

But Germany, the biggest lender in two previous bailouts totaling 240 billion euros ($265 billion) since 2010, is deeply skeptical after five months of abortive talks with Tsipras.

Euro zone sources said it was far from certain that the 19-strong Eurogroup of finance ministers would agree to open negotiations at a crisis meeting scheduled to start at 3 p. m.

"We have to take the best decision for the euro zone," said Rimantas Sadzius. "We have to evaluate, how constructive and realistic it is ... Malta, he explained, had loaned Greece €170 million, which was now equivalent to 2% of GDP. "We want our money back, but we are prepared to be flexible on the terms," Dr Muscat said.

The European Commission, ECB and IMF told euro zone governments after a review of Tsipras's proposals that they was sufficient basis to start negotiating conditional loans from the currency bloc's ESM bailout fund.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 14:40:56 2015 :
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The talks will resume at 11 a. m. local time (0900 GMT), just a few hours before the European Union's 28 leaders are meant to descend on Brussels for a summit that has been billed over the past week as Greece's last chance to convince creditors that it deserves more financial help.

Finance ministers from the 19-country eurozone were arriving in Brussels for a crucial meeting that could determine whether Greece can retain its place in the euro. The pressure was on Greece all Saturday even after the country's parliament passed a harsh austerity package that it hopes will lead to a three-year bailout.

The response to the proposals appears to have assuaged some concerns in Europe but it appears Greece will still have to do more.

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However, eurozone finance ministers have raised issues of trust and questioned whether Greece can indeed deliver on its pledges.

The country's state secretary pointed to the fact that many of the reform proposals that the Greek government got through parliament early Saturday were similar to those rejected overwhelmingly in a referendum just six days ago. "We are discussing a proposal that is very similar to the proposal that was rejected massively less than a week ago," said Wiebes, who represents the Netherlands because the country's finance minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, is president of the eurogroup.



Information from Sat Jul 11 14:41:48 2015 :
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10.13am - Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, arrives for meeting without giving any comments to the press.

Tsipras will seek backing for a harsh new austerity package from his party Friday to... Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna spelled it out as clearly as any other as he arrived Saturday for discussions over Greece's request for a third bailout and its reform proposals.

Tsipras said that the legislature "has given the government a strong mandate to complete the negotiation," adding that "what matters now is the positive outcome."

In Brussels, European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said that at the meeting of the 19 finance ministers sharing the euro currency and the , "we have to show willingness, a sense of responsibility." European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said a collapse of the Greek financial system would be felt far outside of Europe.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 15:41:50 2015 :
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At what moment are you doing to do it?

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said Europe wants to hear the nitty-gritty around Greece's proposals: "How are you going to do it?

Creditor countries will probably ask for more stringent monitoring of reforms and tie disbursements to strict deadlines, issues the current Greek administration had problems with over the past five months. Providing answers to those questions, will help drive confidence, Sapin said.

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila denied his government had been on the verge of collapse over disagreements on a Greek bailout among coalition members.

A French government official said the consultations have focused on Greece's reform agenda rather than any restructuring of the country's debts, and that they have been carried out in conference calls and in western capitals, but not in Athens.

France's Socialist government has sought to play a mediating role between Greece and many of its creditors, particularly , who are resistant to offering Athens another bailout. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the eurozone's top official, is the latest in a long line of Greece's creditors to publicly bemoan the lack of trust with the Greek government as crunch bailout discussion begin.

Arriving for a meeting of the 19 eurozone finance ministers, Dijsselbloem said there's still "a major issue of trust" to be grappled with before creditors are able to back another bailout of . Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan sought to downplay expectations that a decisive deal over Greece's bailout request will emerge at Saturday's meeting of the eurozone's 19 finance ministers. "We continue to work to establish the conditions to start negotiations, which is the real target," Padoan said as he arrived for talks.

The ministers will assess Greece's bailout request and its accompanying economic reform proposals, which won the overwhelming backing of the Greek parliament early Saturday. 6.20pm A Greek official says Tsipras will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and European Council President Donald Tusk on the sidelines of the summit.

Relations between Yanis Varoufakis, Greece's finance minister until last week, and many of his peers in the eurozone were particularly frosty. Convincing them that the Greek government is serious is the task facing Varoufakis' replacement, Euclid Tsakalotos, at Saturday's meeting.

"We are still a long way out, both on the issue of content as on the tougher issue of trust," Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the eurozone's top official, said on his arrival at the meeting.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 16:41:12 2015 :
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Sources in the creditor institutions said Greece would need 25 billion euros just to recapitalize its shattered banks, which have been closed since capital controls were imposed on June 29 after the breakdown of previous bailout negotiations.

Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kazimir, one of the most hawkish critics of Greece, said making the country's debt sustainable was going to be "a huge problem".

Even French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, Greece's most powerful ally in the euro zone, said: "Confidence has been ruined by every Greek government over many years which have sometimes made promises without making good on them at all. "Now we need to have confidence again, to have certainty that decisions announced are decisions which are actually taken by the Greek government."

Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos (3rd L) and his French counterpart Michel Sapin (2nd R) attend an euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2015. Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos listens to International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde (R) during an euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2015.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 16:41:52 2015 :
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Schaeuble put the blame for the current crisis firmly on the shoulders of the radical left Syriza government that was elected in January.

German sources said Schaeuble, Merkel and Social Democratic Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel had agreed on a division of labor to force Greece to accept tougher conditions or leave the currency area temporarily. Schaeuble said Saturday's discussions would be "extraordinarily difficult."

Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany's finance minister, warned that that Saturday's meeting of the eurozone's 19 finance ministers over Greece's bailout request was going to be tough.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 17:41:32 2015 :
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After swaying a skeptical parliament to back a harsh austerity package to stave off financial collapse, the Greek government on Saturday faced an uphill task of persuading its international creditors that it could be trusted to enact the reform promises in full.

Austria's Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling asked: "What guarantees can Greece give that what is currently on the table will also be implemented?"

His Italian counterpart Pier Carlo Padoan said the sides were not yet on the cusp of a final deal. "It is not about striking a deal tonight," he said ahead of the meeting. On Sunday, government leaders of the eurozone and, later, of the 28-nation European Union, are set to have summit meetings on what many have said was the last day to avoid a financial implosion. If there is to be a deal, "trust will be decisive," said French Finance Minister Michel Sapin.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at least got his parliament to pass the bailout proposals package with 251 votes in favor and 32 against early Saturday during a raucous session, in the face of opposition stronger than the vote implies.

"There must be reform, solid reform and they have to be put in place quickly," he said.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 17:41:54 2015 :
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Greece has made a request to Europe's bailout fund for a 53.5 billion-euro ($59.5 billion) 3-year financial package.

"We are determined to not make calculations that everyone knows one cannot believe in."

Schaeuble was clear in who he blamed for current crisis.

Arriving for an emergency meeting of the 19 leaders of the eurozone in Brussels, Tsipras said Europeans want to see Europe "united and not divided."

A Sunday summit of European Union leaders could be its last chance.

Greece's banks have been shuttered for the best part of two weeks and daily withdrawals from ATMs have been limited to a paltry 60 euros. The economy is in freefall and the country faces big debt repayments in coming weeks. Early Saturday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras cleared one hurdle.

The summit of the European Union's 28 leaders has been billed as Greece's last chance. The eurozone ministers have to give their blessing to Greece's bailout request to the European Stability Mechanism. Traditionally, eurozone ministers agree by mutual consensus. The task facing the new Greek finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, is to convince his skeptical counterparts that Greece deserves another bailout, which would be its third in five years. Over and over, finance ministers and top officials of the eurozone arrived for a key meeting on Greece's package with the same message

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Information from Sat Jul 11 18:41:33 2015 :
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The Greek government has made some form of debt relief a key priority and will hope that a comprehensive solution will involve European creditors at least agreeing to delayed repayments or lower interest rates. Greece has received bailouts totaling 240 billion euros in return for deep spending cuts, tax increases and reforms from successive governments.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 18:41:56 2015 :
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"It is important to find out the concrete steps and also how those proposals are going to translate into legislative initiatives," Gramegna said. However, he said "finalizing it is another issue."

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Information from Sat Jul 11 19:41:58 2015 :
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The Greek government is denying a report that the German finance ministry has proposed a temporary, five-year euro exit for Greece. However, Theodoros Mihopoulos who heads Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' office, said in a tweet that the report "is completely denied." According to the report, the German finance ministry also proposed that the Greek government sells off some 50 billion euros ($56 billion) in unspecified property assets to pay off debts.

The report said that in exchange, Greece would remain in the European Union and receive additional "growth enhancing, humanitarian and technical assistance".

Eurozone leaders and finance ministers are meeting in Brussels today as Greece's euro fate rests on a knife edge.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 20:41:35 2015 :
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Over and over, finance ministers and top officials of the eurozone said the same thing as they arrived for a key meeting on Greece's bailout proposals — we don't fully trust you. Greece will have another, possibly its last, chance Sunday to convince skeptical European creditors it can be trusted to enact wide-ranging economic reforms that would safeguard its future in the common euro currency used by 19 European nations. leaders could be its last chance to prevent the collapse of the banking sector and an inevitable exit from the euro currency.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 21:41:37 2015 :
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Stathakis told Greece's Mega TV that the capital controls, restricting cash withdrawals and bank transfers, would remain for at least another two months.

The sources said the IMF had suggested one way to make Greek debts sustainable in the medium term could be to extend the maturity on past and new loans to 60 years instead of 30.

L-R) Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde attend an euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2015. L to R) Italy's Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, European Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici and French Finance Minister Michel Sapin chat during a euro zone leaders summit on the situation in Greece, in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2015. Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos waits for the start of an euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2015. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble arrives to attend a euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2015.

The German Finance Ministry declined to comment on the report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. But several officials said no one raised the possibility of a Greek euro exit in the meeting, which took a pause after three hours. Other ministers arriving for the Eurogroup session spoke of a fundamental lack of trust after years of broken Greek promises and six months of erratic and provocative behavior by the radical leftist Tsipras government.

"We are still far away," Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister, said before the meeting. "On both content and the more complicated question of trust, even if it's all good on paper the question is whether it will get off the ground and will it happen ...

We are facing a difficult negotiation."

However a preparatory meeting earlier on Saturday endorsed with reservations a recommendation by EU institutions and the IMF that Tsipras's proposals did provide a basis to launch negotiations, sources familiar with the session said.

Finland's state broadcaster YLE reported that the Finnish government had told parliament's influential Grand Committee on Saturday it did not consider the Greek proposal sufficient to start negotiations on a new loan.

The government declined comment.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 21:42:02 2015 :
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Another 15 party lawmakers, including two deputy ministers, wrote a letter to the government stating they would not vote for new austerity measures. Saturday's vote triggered speculation of the creation of a possible national unity government and an early general election.

The official said these commitments don't "necessarily have to be austerity measures."

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More than seven hours after they sat down to discuss Greece's bailout request, eurozone finance ministers appeared likely to extend their meeting into the early morning hours as they negotiated over what additional measures the Greek government can take to win support. Reports out of the country said the coalition government was balking at further assistance for Greece. a failure to give Greece a rescue package could see the country 's economy collapse.



Information from Sun Jul 12 00:41:52 2015 :
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Reaching a deal would very much depend on whether creditor countries were concvinced the Greek government would deliver on its promises, Prof.

Scicluna said the Greek government’s change of heart was probably a result of the realisation that the alternative to a deal represented an “ugly” predicament for society and the economy.

Asked whether a debt haircut – forgiving part or all existing loans – was on the agenda, Prof. Scicluna said the terminology being used was debt relief.

Malta has opposed a haircut along with Germany and many other eurozone countries but is willing to consider more flexible repayment terms.

Updated midnight - A meeting of eurozone finance ministers about a new bailout for Greece ended without decision after nine hours tonight. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the meeting was inconclusive, and tomorrow's EU summit would be 'a long day'. Sources said the finance ministers were split.

CNN mentioned opposition to a new bailout by Finland, Slovakia, Estonia, and Malta. The Maltese government, however, has never publicly ruled out a new bailout.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 00:42:09 2015 :
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Bailout discussions between the Greek finance minister and his peers in the 19-country eurozone have wrapped up and will resume in the morning. No press conference is planned after the discussions, which lasted for more than eight hours. The European Union's 28 leaders are set to descend on Brussels for a summit on There were few signs that the Greek bailout discussions between the country's finance minister and his counterparts in the 19-country eurozone are going to wrap up any time soon.

European diplomats said the meeting could run late, even until the early hours of Sunday.

Greece is struggling to overcome a trust deficit at the eurogroup meeting in Brussels, which has been called to assess the government's proposals.

Greece needs to convince creditors of its plan so it can get another financial rescue and avoid an exit from the euro.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 01:42:11 2015 :
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According to some reports, the German government has argued that Greece could take a five-year "time-out" from the euro zone and have some of its debts written off if Athens fails to improve proposals it has made for a bailout.

In a paper reviewing an offer of reforms from the Greek government in return for a three-year loan, Finance Ministry officials said the plan lacked "paramount important reform areas" and wrote: "We need a better sustainable solution." A draft statement by the Eurogroup discussed late on Saturday and seen by Reuters listed a series of additional commitments Greece would have to make just to start loan talks.

Legislate for automatic cuts in government spending if budget deficit targets are missed.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 01:42:12 2015 :
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Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters after the nine-hour session adjourned at midnight that the talks were very difficult and would resume at 0900 GMT on Sunday.

Highlighting the depth of reluctance to grant another rescue to Greece, Germany's finance ministry put forward a paper yesterday demanding stronger Greek measures or a five-year "time-out" from the euro zone that looked like a disguised expulsion. Ministers lined up to vent their anger at Tsipras on arrival at their umpteenth emergency meeting on Greece's debt crisis, with Athens staring into an economic abyss unless it wins a pledge of fresh aid before financial markets reopen on Monday. EU officials forecast a deal would be reached by the end of the weekend to keep Greece afloat, but there was consensus among the other 18 ministers that the leftist government in Athens must take further steps to convince them it would honor any new promises and repay its debts. Tsipras won parliamentary backing early on Saturday for a tough reform package that largely mirrored measures previously demanded by its international creditors but rejected by Greek voters at his behest in a referendum last Sunday. Some ministers were pressing Athens to legislate as early as Monday, notably to raise value-added tax. The German paper, which Schaeuble presented in the meeting, demanded that Athens transfer state assets worth 50 billion euros into a trust fund to pay down debt, or take a five-year "time-out" from the euro zone during which some of its debt would be written off.

The government declined to comment.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 01:42:13 2015 :
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A European official present at the discussions, when asked what more needed to be discussed when ministers reconvene Sunday, said "everything."

The banks, according to some accounts, have barely enough cash in their vaults to last through the week. Assuaging those concerns is the task facing Euclid Tsakalotos, who has been Greek finance minister for barely a week, following the resignation of his outspoken predecessor Yanis Varoufakis. The Associated Press Bailout discussions between the Greek finance minister and his skeptical counterparts in the 19-country eurozone will resume Sunday after breaking up following more than eight hours of talks without any apparent breakthrough that will secure the country's future in the euro. clearly failed to give what its creditors in the eurozone have been demanding iron-clad proof that it can deliver on its promises to implement tough austerity and reform measures in return for billions more in rescue money.

"We had an in-depth discussion of the Greek proposals and the issue of credibility and trust was discussed," Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the eurozone's top official, said on leaving the meeting.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 02:42:12 2015 :
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Tsipras has made much of the need for a restructuring of Greek debt, which stands at around 320 billion euros, or a staggering 180 percent or so of the country's annual GDP. Few economists think that debt will ever fully repaid. Last week, the International Monetary Fund said a restructuring was necessary for Greece.

Following the conclusion of what turned out to be a two-day meeting of the 19 finance ministers of the eurozone, Dijsselbloem said "we've come a long way" but that "some big issues still remain." Finland is perhaps taking the hardest line of all. country eurozone will resume Sunday after breaking up following more than eight hours of talks without any apparent breakthrough that will secure the country's future in the euro.

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"What is at play here is an attempt to humiliate Greece and Greeks, or to overthrow the (Prime Minister Alexis) Tsipras government," Papadimoulis told Mega TV. Germany is trying to humiliate Greece by bringing new demands for a bailout deal, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Vice-President of the European Parliament and member of Greece's ruling Syriza party, said today.



Information from Sun Jul 12 10:43:11 2015 :
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Dutch Finance Minister and Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem talks to the media as he leaves an euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2015. Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos (R) leaves a euro zone finance ministers' meeting on Greece, in Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2015.

He pointed out that just over a week ago, the Greek governemnt and then the Greek people rejected a package of proposals, and now the Greek government had come up with new proposals which would be even tougher and cost more. 0900 GMT), just a few hours before the European Union's 28 leaders descend for a summit.

The two sides negotiated for eight hours Saturday where Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the eurozone's top official, says "the issue of credibility and trust was discussed."

Greece must not be allowed to leave the euro zone, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was quoted as saying today, adding he would tell the German government it had to compromise and not humiliate Athens. Italian Prime Minister Matteo told Il Messaggero newspaper: “Now common sense must prevail and an agreement must be reached.

Italy does not want Greece to exit the euro and to Germany I say: enough is enough." Humiliating a European partner after Greece has given up on just about everything is unthinkable," Renzi was quoted as saying. Renzi's spokesman was not immediately available to confirm the quotes.

Should a deal fall through, The Telegraph reports the German government has prepared to negotiate a temporary five-year euro exit, giving the country humanitarian aid while it makes the transition.

The plan backed by Germany Germany caused a stir yesterday when its leaked plans mooted a temporary Greek exit from the eurozone or a €50billion grab of the country's assets to pay off its debts. The Telegraphs reports there is an open revolt among the eurozone s 19-member states as a group of small creditors threatening to reject the rescue plan. Finland is on the brink of withdrawing its negotiating mandate from the government, which would force creditors to set an emergency voting procedure to pass a new rescue deal. s True Finns party has threatened to bring down its young government if it supports a new Greek deal, according to the paper.

One of the few supports Greece has in its fight to secure more money is France.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin is hoping to get confidence again to be able to agree to a rescue plan for Greece.

He called the latest proposal a The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Francois Lenoir/Pool Photo via AP) (The Associated Press) Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos leaves after a meeting of eurozone finance ministers at the EU Lex building in Brussels on Saturday, July 11, 2015. Olivier Hoslet/Pool Photo via AP) (The Associated Press) Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, right, leaves after a meeting of eurozone finance ministers at the EU Lex building in Brussels on Sunday, July 12, 2015.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 11:43:12 2015 :
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"We can reach an agreement tonight if all parties want it," he said.

CNN during the night reported that Finland, Slovakia, Estonia and Malta were opposing a new bailout.

See video comments above and below. See also Prime Minister's comments, reported separately.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat this morning spelled out the dilemma facing Malta and other creditor countries ahead of the eurozone summit meeting on Greece.

"The biggest issue is confidence, we need to be confident that the Greek government keeps its commitments." Malta was prepared to discuss interest rates and longer repayment periods, but the capital had to be returned. This, after all, was the third bailout which Greece was requesting, and many commitments made so far had not been kept. It the plug was pulled, the Greek economy would collapse and it would be more difficult for Malta and the other countries to get their money back, although they would still reserve their rights once Greece returned to the markets.

The talks would be difficult, and he expected a long day ahead, Dr Muscat said. His interest was to safeguard the national interest, first and foremost, but Malta also had an interest to ensure that the European project survived. He stressed that any new bailout for Greece would not be paid for from national funds, but from the ESM - the European Stability Fund.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said before another eurozone finance ministers' meeting on Greece this morning that there were different levels of scepticism within the eurogroup about the recovery package presented by the Greek government.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 11:43:15 2015 :
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Head of eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem says "We have come a long way, solved a lot of issues, but some big issues still remain remain".

However, Harris Georgiades warned that choices based on "populism, slogans and extremes" won't lead to a deal. Georgiades spoke as he headed into a meeting of the eurozone's 19 finance ministers.

On Saturday, the so-called eurogroup broke up after more than eight hours of discussions having failed to make a breakthrough over the Greek crisis. "We have to work less on the basis of emotion and more on the basis of reason and the difficult, but necessary choices that till create prospects, " said Georgiades.

Greece's banks, according to many accounts, have barely enough cash in their vaults to see the country through the week.

Leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will be required to push legislation through parliament from Monday to convince his 18 partners in the monetary union to release immediate funds to avert a Greek state bankruptcy and start negotiations on a third bailout program.

Finnish Finance Minister Alexander Stubb said he was "still hopeful" for a deal on Greece's financial crisis, but the two sides were "still very, very far away." Stubb denied that Finland was blocking an agreement, saying all countries were trying to find an exit from a "very difficult situation."

has decided to cancel a summit of the bloc's 28 leaders and instead center only on a summit of the 19 eurozone leaders to find a solution on Greece's bailout crisis. In an early morning tweet, Tusk said the eurozone summit would start in mid- afternoon "and last until we conclude talks" on Greece.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 12:43:13 2015 :
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The Greek government is coming under pressure to enact legislation swiftly, possibly within the next few days, on economic reforms to assuage concerns of creditors that it can't be trusted to deliver what it says in return for billions of euros of bailout cash. 10.50am - Italian Finance Minister Padoan tells reporters that the main obstacle to moving forward is lack of trust.

The European Council meeting with all 28 EU leaders scheduled for this afternoon has been called off to give enough time for eurozone leaders to discuss Greece's debt crisis. On Friday, Greek MPs backed Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's tough new proposals to secure a third bailout. The proposals are aimed at staving off financial collapse and preventing a possible exit from the eurozone. Surprisingly, Mr Tsipras's new plan contains many elements rejected in a referendum last Sunday.

Greece is asking creditors for €53.5bn to cover its debts until 2018. However, the amount of the new bailout could reach €74bn as Greece seeks a restructuring of its massive debt, which it says is unsustainable.

Standard VAT rate of 23%, including restaurants and catering. 9.55am - EU Council President Donald Tusk says he has cancelled EU leaders summit for this afternoon to give space for eurozone leaders to discuss the Greek debt crisis.

Srapping 30% tax break for wealthiest islands.

Cut defence spending cuts by €300m by 2016.

Privatise ports and sell-off remaining shares in telecoms giant OTE.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 12:43:14 2015 :
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Greece's new finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, kept silent in public but the reaction among lawmakers of Tsipras' radical leftist Syriza party, still smarting from having to swallow austerity measures they had opposed, was furious.

"The only thing that I care about is not being humiliated by Schaeuble and the rest of theme" said Panagiotis Trikokglou, a 44-year-old private sector worker.

Athens defaulted on an IMF loan repayment last month and faces state bankruptcy if it cannot make a bond redemption to the European Central Bank on July 20, which would likely force the ECB to cut emergency funding for Greek banks. International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde waves as she leaves an euro zone finance ministers' meeting in Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2015. Sixty Euros, the maximum amount allowed after the imposed capital controls in Greek banks, are seen during a withdrawal operation at a bank branch ATM in central Athens, Greece, July 12, 2015.

Chess pieces depicting Greek gods and Spartan soldiers on display in a shop in Athens, Greece July 11, 2015.

1000 EDT) would "last until we conclude talks on Greece".

Eurogroup finance ministers resumed on Sunday a meeting suspended after nine hours of acrimonious debate on Greece's application for another three-year loan on the basis of reform proposals Tsipras accepted after long resisting. Several hardline countries voiced support for a German government paper that recommended Greece take a five-year "time-out" from the euro zone unless it accepted and implemented swiftly much tougher conditions, notably by locking state assets to be privatized in an independent trust to pay down debt. Argument became so heated that Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem decided to adjourn at midnight and resume talks at 11 a. m. to allow tempers to cool. The ministers agreed in principle to seek ways to ease Greece's debt burden by extending loan maturities and other steps stopping short of a "haircut" or writedown, provided Athens first implements key reforms of taxation, pensions, labor markets and public administration.

Asked if there are sufficient conditions to start negotiations, Dr Muscat said that would have to be established but there were at least two eurozone member states that required a parliamentary mandate. "It's utterly unlikely the European Commission will get a mandate to start formal negotiations as regards a third program or ESM program today," he said, referring to the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund. "I would like to see the Greek government take concrete actions starting tomorrow in parliament to implement measures that are needed for Greece in the first place."

Merkel is under mounting pressure from her own conservatives not to give any more money to Greece, but she has so far said she wants to hold the euro zone together, and that will require a third program for Athens. The United States has added its voice to calls for a deal this weekend, concerned at the geopolitical consequences if Greece were to be cut loose and become a failed state in the fragile southern Balkans, adjoining the Middle East. European Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, who along with the French government has pressed for a deal to keep Greece in the zone, stressed that the three institutions representing the creditors - the Commission, the IMF and the ECB - agreed there was a basis for loan talks. bankrupt Greece in the euro zone on Sunday after the European Union's chairman canceled a planned summit of all 28 EU leaders that would have been needed in case of a "Grexit".

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Information from Sun Jul 12 12:43:17 2015 :
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If the Greek legislators thought they had done enough by approving the tough austerity proposals of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, they had better think again.

On Saturday, when finance ministers from across the 19-country eurozone, there were reports coming out of You're living in a world of rumors," Sipila told reporters in Helsinki on Sunday.

"The government took a totally united stand." Finland has refused to reveal its position on Greece publicly for tactical reasons. The head of the Finns Party, Foreign Minister Timo Soini, refused to comment on the Greek question saying that the pledge of secrecy made by government members will stand.

"We have lost so much time we cannot afford to lose time anymore," Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said as he arrived for talks.

"It is not about closing a deal." Yet in a sign that a dramatic Greek exit from the euro would not happen Sunday, a full summit of the European Union's 28 leaders was cancelled.

"And then to rebuild trust that would allow concrete negotiations to move forward." Finance ministers broke up talks Saturday after more than eight hours with Greece's creditors unconvinced that the Tsipras government could be trusted to reform the Greek economy.

The meeting of the eurozone's 19 finance ministers will be followed one of the leaders.

Greece has already defaulted on a 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) payment to the International Monetary Fund last month. It has another 4.2 billion-euro payment on July 20 due to the European Central Bank.

As they headed into further talks Sunday morning, Greece's European creditors sought to narrow their differences with Athens, saying they were working hard on a resolution to the financial crisis. Greece desperately needs help to avoid a financial collapse. This would be Greece's third bailout in five years. The pressure remained on Greece to yield to creditor demands for imminent laws on a range of issues such as pension reform and sales tax increases.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 13:43:15 2015 :
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1pm - Reuters reports Luxembourg's foreign minister has made an impassioned plea for Germany to avoid a Greek exit from the euro, warning Berlin of a catastrophic schism with France if it pushes for Athens to leave the currency union. L to R) Slovenia's Finance Minister Dusan Mramor and French Finance Minister Michel Sapin chat with Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem as International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde passes behind them during a euro zone finance ministers' meeting on...

People react near a tourism poster in Athens, Greece July 12, 2015. People ride past graffiti in Athens, Greece July 12, 2015.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 13:43:20 2015 :
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The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said eurozone leaders hope to issue a statement that would pave the way for the formal for the start of Greek bailout negotiations.

A European official says Greece's European creditors are seeking a deal that would relieve the pressure on the Greek banks that face an acute liquidity crunch as soon as Monday. That, the official added, would give the "green light" to the European Central Bank to turn up the emergency liquidity assistance it provides to Greek banks.

The head of France's governing Socialist Party is appealing to other left-leaning parties in Europe to push for a deal to save Greece's economy. French Socialist leader Jean-Christophe Cambadelis in particular urged Germany's Social Democrats, the junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government, to push toward a compromise deal. France has been the staunchest ally of Greece's radical left government in recent months.

It's urging a deal on the grounds that it's crucial for Greece but also for overall European unity and the Franco-German relationship that underpins it.

Germany, by contrast, has taken a far tougher stance and is urging strict conditions on any Greek bailout deal that may emerge.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 14:43:23 2015 :
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Facing a self-imposed Sunday deadline, the European nations using the shared euro currency were still seeking more proof from Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that he could be fully trusted to enact wide-ranging economic reforms to safeguard Greece's future in the common currency.

Rumors of Franco-German discord over what was still expected from Greece swirled around the talks between finance ministers Sunday in Brussels.

"There is no fear of a rift and we will find strong cohesion," said the official, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the negotiations. France is considered Greece's best friend and even helped Tsipras prepare the reform proposals that are his lifeline to international aid over the coming days or weeks. including making pension changes and sales tax increases.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 16:43:16 2015 :
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4.40pm - Meanwhile, anger is mounting among many on the social media that eurozone leaders are demanding too much from a cash-strapped country.

The Euro-terrorists meeting in Brussels think that a 25% contraction of the Greek economy is not enough. They demand more austerity! mdash; Philippe Marlière (@PhMarliere) 4.15pm - Eurogroup meeting is over, and the prospects appear bleak.

He says the situation in Greece during the past few days has deteriorated in a "tragic" manner. 3.45pm - Things are certainly not looking good for Tsipras. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says "the most important currency has been lost: that is trust and reliability." Germany has taken a tough line on Greece and has questioned whether the Greek government will deliver the reforms it has promised in exchange for a financial rescue package. 3.10pm - Meanwhile, let's remember that while the EU decides Greece's euro fate, Greeks may only withdraw a maximum of €60 after the imposition of capital controls in Greek banks.

Meanwhile, eurozone leaders have started arriving for the crunch meeting. Evidently, some countries have trust issues with Greece. 1.10pm - Look behind you!

Pictures are coming in from the Eurogroup in process.

Malta is prepared to support Greek bailout provided a proper monitoring framework is in place.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 16:43:17 2015 :
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At the conclusion of a 4-page draft document of proposals put to leaders and obtained by The Associated Press, eurozone finance ministers said Greece should be offered "swift negotiations on a time-out from the euro area with possible debt restructuring" if no bailout deal is agreed.

Merkel requires the assent of the German parliament to agree to the opening of loan negotiations. Diplomats expected her to commit to calling a special session of the Bundestag to give her that mandate if Greece enacts prior reforms this week. "That means that we will have tough discussions and there will be no agreement at any price." Schaeuble also clashed with the head of the euro zone bailout fund, Klaus Regling, on whether Greece could afford to service its debt or not, another source said.

However economists said the idea of a temporary exit was likely to mean ejecting Athens from the European monetary union in the end. Paul De Grauwe, a Belgian economist at the London School of Economics, compared it to a couple having a trial separation.

"Temporary Grexit is like temporary divorce. Most if not all end up being permanent," he said in a Twitter message. Holger Schmieding, chief economist of Berenberg Bank, was even more categorical, saying: "Temporary Grexit is Grexit."

bankrupt Greece at an emergency summit on Sunday that it must restore trust by enacting key reforms before they will open talks on a new financial rescue to keep it in the European currency area.

Eurogroup finance ministers wrapped up a meeting broken off after nine hours of acrimonious debate on Saturday night without a firm recommendation on Greece's application for a three-year loan on the basis of reform proposals Tsipras sent on Thursday. Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that while ministers had made good progress, a couple of big issues were left for the leaders to resolve. "The Eurogroup ... came to the conclusion that there is not yet the basis to start the negotiations on a new program," the document sent to national leaders said. "Only subsequent to legal implementation of the above mentioned measures can negotiations on the memorandum of understanding commence, subject to national procedures having been completed," it said, in a reference to authorization by national parliaments in countries such as Germany.

The draft said Greece needed 7 billion euros by July 20, when it must make a crucial bond redemption to the European Central Bank, and a total of 12 billion euros by mid-August when another ECB payment falls due. It did not say how those needs would be met, and EU officials said finance ministers had been unable to agree on emergency finance. "There is no such thing as temporary Grexit, there is only a Grexit or no Grexit. Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives at a euro zone leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2015. International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde listens to Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos (R) during an euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2015.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 16:43:28 2015 :
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A Greek official says Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has spoken by phone with U. S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and told him that for there to be a deal, all sides must want one.

Dijsselbloem, in his capacity as eurogroup president will brief eurozone leaders about the progress so far. Another official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said some issues remain difficult, including a proposal for Greece to transfer billions of euros worth of state assets to an independent fund in Luxembourg under European supervision.

The Greek economy has shrunk by around a quarter over the past few years while unemployment and poverty rates have risen alarmingly. German Chancellor Angela Merkel insists that there won't be a Greek deal later Sunday "at any price."

Merkel says the talks later will be "tough," adding that in any deal reached "the advantages outweigh the disadvantages both for the future of Greece and the eurozone as a whole and the principles of our cooperation."

Arriving for an emergency meeting of the leaders of the 19-country eurozone in Brussels, the European Commission president gave few grounds for optimism that a breakthrough over the Greek crisis was imminent. Juncker's caution was echoed in comments from other eurozone leaders including French President

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Information from Sun Jul 12 17:43:40 2015 :
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Stubb says they involve three key elements, including the Greek parliament's passing of a series of unspecified laws by Wednesday.

If these conditions are met, then talks with Europe's bailout fund can proceed, said Stubb. Italy's premier says Europe needs to deal with the Greek crisis once and for all and move on to other pressing problems confronting the continent.

Matteo Renzi said on his arrival for an emergency summit of the eurozone's 19 leaders that "there's a great need for Europe to go back to do what it needs to do" and tackle issues. He highlighted the uncertain situations in He said Europe risks "losing the trust" of its citizens if it can't grapple with these issues effectively.

Renzi said differences between Greece and its creditors "are not just details," but that the distance between the two sides "has been greatly shortened."

"One day at a time, one step at a time," he said.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 18:43:39 2015 :
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6pm Joseph Muscat says in a tweet: Eurogroup document is most significant step so far.

6.35pm - OK so the situation at the moment is this: Greece has been instructed to push through major reforms through its Parliament by Wednesday - that includes huge pension reform - if it is to receive further help from its eurozone partners. Can't see the far-left Syria government surviving such reforms.

But time will tell.

What has led to a change of heart?

But he also points out: "If we’re stuck, the alternative would be to negotiate a timeout – a temporary exit."

Meanwhile, restrained smiles and exchanges between Merkel and Tsipras at the beginning of the summit.

France President Hollande increasingly assuming the role of referee.

He says future of Europe is at stake if Greece leaves the eurozone.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 18:43:43 2015 :
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In the document that shows that Greece has moved a long way to meeting creditors' demands, the so-called eurogroup said the country may need between 82-86 billion euros ($91-96 billion) in financing.

A temporary Greek exit from the euro is up for potential discussion at this evening's summit of the eurozone's 19 leaders.

Russia says it is considering supplying energy directly to the government of Greece, where doubts have been raised about the ability of Greek state-run companies to pay for imports of oil and natural gas. The state-run companies were ordered to put their reserves into a central account, which the state has been using to cover expenses such as salaries and pensions as liquidity ran out in the country.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Sunday that Russia intended to support the recovery of the Greek economy by widening cooperation in the energy sector. In connection with this, he said Russia was studying options for direct supplies to the Greek government and hoped to reach an agreement in the next few weeks.

Greece imports the vast majority of its gas from Russia.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 19:43:45 2015 :
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Another issue facing the eurozone's 19 leaders is whether Greece needs debt relief. Greece's debts stand at around 320 billion euros ($355 billion), or a staggering 180 percent of the country's annual GDP. A direct cut is unlikely but Greece could get longer repayment schedules or cuts in the interest rates it pays on those debts.

Sunday's summit was dealing exclusively with Greece, which desperately needs a deal with European creditors to stave off immediate financial collapse and the country's potential exit from the euro. But any deal looks like it will require the Greek government to impose tough austerity measures. The Greek government appears to have accepted a raft of demands from European creditors that it had previously condemned.

Among a series of proposals that made it into a draft document sent to eurozone leaders, Greece has accepted that officials from the creditor institutions will have some sort of base in Athens. It remained unclear whether that ability "to work on the ground" will be similar to the hands-on oversight the country underwent after the country's initial bailout in 2010. Many in Greece hated what they considered foreign meddling in their affairs.

According to the document, the Greek government has agreed to legislate a first set of measures by Wednesday. 6:20 p. m.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 21:43:50 2015 :
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The U. S. Treasury Department says Secretary is "encouraged by reports of some progress" in Brussels at an emergency summit of eurozone leaders about Greece.

Lew noted that Greece is showing signs of "political will to implement difficult reforms." In a statement issued on Sunday, Lew urged all sides to show flexibility.

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Information from Sun Jul 12 22:43:52 2015 :
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The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the ongoing talks, said European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has warned eurozone finance ministers that Greek banks are at risk and that the need for a deal is pressing. Without the prospect of a deal, the ECB will not be able to increase emergency liquidity assistance to Greek banks.

It has frozen its help over the past couple of weeks as the banks have stayed closed.

The official also says that some of the creditor proposals, such as a requirement for Greece to deposit 50 billion euros ($56 billion) worth of state-owned assets into a special fund for subsequent sell-off, appear intended to "humiliate" the Greek government.

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Information from Mon Jul 13 02:44:23 2015 :
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bankrupt Greece at an emergency summit, demanding that Athens enact key reforms this week to restore trust before they will open talks on a financial rescue to keep it in the European currency area.

But a senior EU source said the idea was illegal and would be dropped from the summit statement if Tsipras accepted other deeply unpalatable terms.

If Greece meets the conditions, the German parliament would meet on Thursday to mandate Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to open the talks on a new loan.

Then Eurogroup finance ministers could meet again on Friday or at the weekend to formally launch the negotiations.

As the marathon summit dragged into early Monday morning, with breaks for private meetings between Tsipras and the French, German and EU leaders, markets in Asia-Pacific marked the euro down and bought safe-haven bonds.

The absence of deal in Brussels also hit pre-market trading in the United States.

The EU says experts evaluate Greek assets earmarked for privatization at just 7 billion euros.

One diplomat said that was tantamount to turning Greece into a "German protectorate", stripping it of more sovereignty.

Another diplomat said Merkel had declared the matter a "red line" for Germany and insisted that the International Monetary Fund be fully involved in any third bailout for Greece, despite resistance from Athens. Tsipras, for his part, was insisting on a stronger commitment by the creditors to restructure Greek debt to make it sustainable in the medium-term. An EU official said several options were being discussed to give Greece bridging funds once it passed the laws, including releasing European Central Bank profits on Greek bonds, tapping an emergency fund run by the European Commission, or bilateral loans from friendly countries such as France. Two official French sources denied that any bridging loan was planned.

Some diplomats questioned whether it was feasible to rush the package through the Greek parliament in just three days.

Tsipras is set to sack ministers who did not support his negotiating position in a vote last Friday and make dissident lawmakers in his Syriza party resign their seats, people close to the government said.

Talks among the currency zone's finance ministers turned into what one participant called "a kindergarten" before they were suspended without agreement at midnight on Saturday, resuming more calmly on Sunday morning after the French and German ministers met privately to clear the air.

Those rules say there must be "a risk to the financial stability of the euro area as a whole or of its Member States".

With banks shuttered for two weeks, cash withdrawals rationed and the economy on the edge of an abyss, some Greeks vented their anger on Merkel and Schaeuble.

Youths hold a placard that reads 'Do we stay in Euro?'

A woman walks by bank branches protected by security shutters in Athens, Greece July 12, 2015.

Greek riot police officers stand guard on the steps in front of the Parliament building during an anti-austerity demonstration in Athens, Greece, July 12, 2015.

L-R) Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, France's President Francois Hollande and Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel attend an euro zone leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speaks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and French President Francois Hollande at a euro zone leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2015. L-R) Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras listens to France's President Francois Hollande next to Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel during an euro zone leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2015. German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in her car at a euro zone leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2015. Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipila arrives in his car at a euro zone leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2015. Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte waves as he arrives at an euro zone leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2015.

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Information from Mon Jul 13 02:44:27 2015 :
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The leaders of the eurozone are a hit on Twitter Sunday night. Unfortunately for them, the trending of #ThisIsACoup is all hostile. As the eurozone leaders push a list of demands in exchange for giving Greece essential short-term financial aid, many people are taking to social media to back Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

They say the proposals on everything from pension rules to privatizations amount to a coup. The term is topping Twitter. com's list of hashtag trends. Even the Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman got into the act early Monday: "This Eurogroup list of demands is madness. The trending hashtag #ThisIsACoup is exactly right."

Brussels time "at the earliest."

The summit on Greece has broken up on at least two occasions since the discussions began mid-afternoon Sunday.

Among the key meetings have been those involving Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the German and French leaders.

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