Greece’s Minister of Finance formally submitted his country’s finance reform proposals to a group of European ministers late Thursday, just after 8 p.m. GMT. Such a proposal was promised by Greece when it requested a three year loan from the European Stability Mechanism fund on Wednesday.
The general policy changes being proposed include an increase in taxes and spending cuts (including pension reform) of over 12 billion euros, with the goal of “fiscal sustainability, financial stability, and long-term economic growth”.
Before the proposal is reviewed by Eurogroup on Saturday, and the European Union (EU) on Sunday, Greek parliament will have to approve the reforms in a legislative vote set for Friday.
While the official mantra of Greece is to “remain a member of the Eurozone”, Energy Minister Panagiotis is lobbying Greece’s parliament to vote down the terms of a new bailout.
“At a business conference Thursday, Panagiotis said that “the choices we have are tough . . . but the worst . . . is an agreement that will surrender, loot and subjugate our people and this country,” he said.
He went on to warn the EU that last weekend’s ‘No’ vote to the terms of a bailout “will not be turned into a humiliating ‘Yes’.”
In light of the uncertainty that more loan funds are coming, the Greek government has extended the 60 euro ($67) limit on ATM withdrawals, and all bank closures through Monday.
The closure of Greek financial institutions, along with a limit on cash withdrawals, were instituted on June 28 to prevent a so-called ‘bank run’ after the European Central Bank announced it would not longer be lending money to the debt-ridden government if fiscal reforms were not enacted.
The Greek people overwhelmingly rejected the terms of a new bailout from the EU in a July 5 referendum, with only 38% voting ‘Yes’ to the deal.