Greece is expected to hand its creditors a list of urgent economic reforms by this evening in a bid to avoid crashing out of the euro, Sky News reports. Eurozone leaders have given Greece until midnight on Thursday (11pm UK time) to reveal how it plans to tackle its debt crisis and avoid bankruptcy. Greece must then thrash out a deal with its creditors at a summit of all 28 EU leaders on Sunday, which has been described by European Council President Donald Tusk as the “final deadline” to end the impasse.
Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, Greece’s leftist prime minister assured exasperated leaders that his government’s latest reform plans were “concrete” and “credible”. “The Greek government will tomorrow file new concrete proposals, credible reforms, for a fair and viable solution,” Mr Tsipras told lawmakers. Greece has submitted a request to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) – an EU organisation set up to provide financial assistance for eurozone members – for a three-year loan programme.
Greek banks are to remain closed for the rest of the week, with a €60 (£42) daily limit on cash machine withdrawals to also remain in place until next Monday. Athens has received two international bailouts over the last five years worth €240bn (£173bn) in exchange for biting austerity measures.In the midst of a fiery exchange at the EU Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Tspiras accused creditors of transforming Greece into an “austerity laboratory”.
Mr Tsipras said: “In many European countries, austerity programmes have been put into effect. “However, nowhere have those programmes been so harsh and so long lasting as in Greece and it is no exaggeration to say that my country has over the past five years been transformed into an austerity laboratory. “This experiment, I think all of us have to accept, has not been a success. Over these five years we have seen a sky rocketing of poverty, unemployment has soared … as has debt.
“Today, the majority of the Greek people … feel that they have no other choice other than to demand that they be given a way out of this dead end and they have expressed this in the most direct way possible and we have to implement that decision.”