Greece has submitted a plan to creditors for a two-year rescue deal just hours before Athens is likely to default on a loan to the International Monetary Fund. A statement released by Greece’s Prime Minister Alex Tsipras said Athens remained at the negotiating table amid uncertainty over the country’s place in the euro. The two-year proposal submitted to the eurozone’s rescue fund includes a request for debt restructuring.
“The Greek government proposed today a two-year deal with the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) to fully cover its financial needs and with parallel debt restructuring,” it said. The statement added that Greece “remains at the negotiating table” and that Athens will always seek “a viable solution to stay in the euro”.Eurozone finance ministers are due to discuss the proposal in a conference call to be held at 6pm BST.
But German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told EU leaders she does not expect any new developments on solving the Greek debt deadlock today. Mrs Merkel added that the consequences of the Greek crisis can be cushioned by Europe and there is no need to fear the effects on the eurozone. Mr Tsipras admitted on Monday night that his country is unlikely to meet tonight’s €1.6bn loan repayment.
In an interview with Greek TV, he remained defiant and rounded on the European Central Bank’s decision not to raise its funding limit for Greek banks.How is it possible the creditors are waiting for the IMF payment while our banks are being suffocated,” he said European leaders have warned that a referendum planned for Sunday is not about taking a bailout, but about Greece’s future in the monetary union.
As the financial crisis deepened, it was confirmed that banks and the country’s stock exchange would remain shut until 7 July, and the daily limit on withdrawals from cash machines would be limited to just €60. Concerned British tourists who are heading to Greece have been told the ATM limits will not apply to foreign debit cards – but in practice, some cash machines may not be able to tell the difference.
The Association of British Travel Agents is advising visitors to take all of the euros they may need in cash, but says credit and debit card transactions in shops and restaurants will be unaffected.Sky News’ Siobhan Robbins, in Corfu, said credit cards were still being accepted though businesses were hungry for cash. Taverna owner Dimitris Kourkoulis claimed his business was benefiting from tourists bringing extra cash.
He said: “The fact that people are bringing more cash with them, they have more cash to spend and even our tips have gone up by 40% this month.”