Greek pro euro camp rallies ahead of referendum, Eurogroup seeks last minute deal

GMT 08:32 2015 Wednesday ,01 July

Arab Today, arab today Greek pro euro camp rallies ahead of referendum, Eurogroup seeks last minute deal

Thousands of Greeks take part in a rally
Athens - XINHUA

 Greece's pro euro camp staged a new rally in front of the parliament in central Athens on Tuesday evening, as the Eurogroup was holding an emergency teleconference seeking a last minute debt deal to avert a financial meltdown and possible Grexit this summer.

Thousands proponents of Greece's stay in the euro zone mobilized through social media gathered once again on Syntagma square, chanting slogans in favor of the Yes in the July 5 referendum over the draft deal international lenders proposed last Thursday.

"We stay in Europe.The struggle to keep Greece in the European Union falls on our shoulders," banners read, as protestors, among them opposition parties MPs, chanted "Greece-Europe-Democracy" under heavy rain.

A pro-government rally in favor of No backed by ruling Radical Left SYRIZA party on the same square on Monday drew about 20,000 citizens who denounced creditors' "blackmail".

Meanwhile the euro zone's finance ministers were holding an extraordinary teleconference to examine a new proposal for a debt agreement Athens submitted earlier on Tuesday.

Greece's government proposed a two year debt deal with the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to fully cover Greece's financial needs and a parallel debt restructuring, according to an announcement by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' office.

The 30-billion-euro (about 33.6 billion U.S. dollars) worth proposal which excludes the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was tabled a few hours before the extended Greek five year bailout expires on Tuesday midnight amidst increased concern over a looming default and possible Grexit.

With Greek banks closed and capital controls imposed since Monday after the European Central Bank freezed the emergency liquidity assistance to Greek banks following Tsipras' surprise Saturday call for a referendum, Athens did not repay on Tuesday the loan installment due to the IMF. The development formally opens procedures to a possible bankruptcy in coming weeks.

As Eurogroup talks were starting, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told German deputies, according to media reports, that any new proposal submitted by Athens for a third European program could not be examined in depth before Sunday's referendum.

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