Greece Gives Europe Its Latest Economic Reform Plan

Greece Gives Europe Its Latest Economic Reform Plan 

Greece on Thursday delivered its latest proposal for economic reforms to European finance ministers who must decide whether they will grant the struggling government another desperately needed bailout.

Little information was available about what was in the new package from Athens. But reports said it included EU demands for a boost in some sales taxes and cuts in spending.

The Greek parliament will meet Friday to decide whether to endorse the reforms, and the entire 28-member European Union will hold an emergency summit on the Greek situation Sunday.

Some EU leaders said this was absolutely Greece's last chance to satisfy their demands. They have been frustrated by what has so far been Athens' refusal to carry out more austerity measures.

But Greeks said they have suffered enough from spending and pension cuts that have cost jobs and lowered their standards of living. The government has demanded a debt restructuring from the International Monetary Fund.

Greece has amassed its debt in two bailouts during the past five years. Now, its economy is in sharp decline, and a quarter of its workforce is unemployed.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who has been one of the staunchest voices against extending Greece's economic lifeline, appeared to soften a bit Thursday when he conceded that Greece might need some  restructuring of its $265 billion bailout debt load in order for its economy to regain a solid footing.

But he said there could be no outright reduction of the debt because "it would infringe on the system of the European Union and, after all, the European Union is a community of common laws."

Failure of Greece and the EU to reach a deal could lead to Greece's ouster from the eurozone — the 19 European nations that use the euro as a common currency.

Greece Gives Europe Its Latest Economic Reform Plan Greece Gives Europe Its Latest Economic Reform Plan Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 10:25 AM Rating: 5

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