Eurozone finance ministers to meet for Greek bailout deal

GMT 12:43 2015 Saturday ,11 July

Arab Today, arab today Eurozone finance ministers to meet for Greek bailout deal

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis
Brussels - XINHUA

After six-month tough negotiations, the last chance for Greece and the lenders to seal a bailout deal is coming Saturday afternoon as the finance ministers of the eurozone countries are gathering in Brussels to discuss new Greek proposals.

The crucial meeting was widely seen as a "decisive moment" for Greece's fate: either a bailout deal or Greece's exit from the European common currency zone.

According to a Eurogroup statement, the finance ministers will discuss the recent request by the Greek authorities for financial assistance from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and their proposal for a reform agenda.

Greece submitted its formal request to the ESM on Wednesday, asking for a three-year loan from the bailout fund.

The financially-troubled country then submitted a detailed package of reform proposals to the Eurogroup on Thursday night, pledging to carry out a new package of comprehensive reform measures promptly.

Athens' proposals for a new set of tax hikes, pension cuts and economic reforms in exchange for a 53.2-billion-euro (about 59 billion U.S. dollars) third bailout program through the ESM has been approved by the Greek parliament earlier on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the assessment of Greek proposals made by the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will be the key part of discussions at the meeting of the eurozone finance ministers in the afternoon.

Earlier on Saturday, the Eurogroup announced that it has received assessments from international creditors.

A source close to the matter told news media Thursday that the EU and IMF officials had given a positive assessment which makes it possible that an agreement to aid Greece will be reached in the afternoon meeting of Eurogroup.

Without a debt deal in the coming hours, Greece faces a financial collapse and a Grexit: Greek banks have been closed for the past two weeks and are running out of cash while the country's economy is suffering from capital controls.

Besides, Greece has been in arrears to the IMF since July 1 and faces a 3.5-billion-euro debt repayment to the ECB on July 20. (1 euro = 1.11 U.S. dollars)

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