In About-Face, Greece Offers Austerity Measures

Expect a frantic weekend of negotiations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 9, 2015 7:12 PM CDT
In About-Face, Greece Offers Austerity Measures
A demonstrator waves a European Union flag in front of the Greek Parliament during a rally in Athens.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Greece finally met a deadline that counted today, delivering a series of sweeping proposals to its creditors before midnight to set off a mad rush toward a weekend deal to stave off a financial collapse of the nation. The package of reforms raised hopes that Greece can get a rescue deal that will prevent a catastrophic exit from the euro. But as the Wall Street Journal notes, "there here was no immediate word on whether it would be enough to unlock a new bailout package." In a significant about-face, the government caved into demands for a new round of austerity measures, including sales tax hikes and cuts in state spending for pensions that the left-leaning Greek government had long resisted.

Many of the proposed reforms were harsher than those roundly rejected by the Greek public in a bailout referendum last Sunday. But in return, the government said it would seek a restructuring of its long-term debt. The government scheduled an emergency vote in parliament late tomorrow to win backing for the belt-tightening plan and said it believed it had the support needed. Finance officials from the European institutions and the International Monetary Fund were to pore over the package tomorrow before the 19 eurozone finance ministers assess it on Saturday. (More Greece stories.)

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