Merkel urges Greece to act quickly to submit new proposal

Merkel urges Greece to act quickly to submit new proposal

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His proposals were not expected to go much beyond a letter he sent to euro zone partners last week, accepting most of the terms of a creditors’ offer that was no longer on the table, but still seeking some loopholes for social or coalition reasons. The United States, China and Japan all called for a solution in which Greece stays in the euro zone.Juncker told EU lawmakers in Strasbourg he was working night and day to get negotiations reopened but he chided the Greeks for their confrontational approach, saying it was unacceptable to accuse the EU of behaving like “terrorists”, as Varoufakis did last week.”Throwing Greece out of the monetary union or indeed the European Union is not something we want or indeed should want,” said the EU’s chief executive, who was heckled by leftists and Eurosceptics when he said Greeks hadn’t been properly informed about what they were voting on.European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny suggested the bank might be able to provide some sort of bridge funding while Greece negotiated a longer-term conditional loan to see it over a crucial July 20 bond redemption to the ECB.
Greek newspapers dramatized the make-or-break nature of the Brussels showdown.Centrist daily Ethnos headlined: “Time has run out for a solution before catastrophe,” while the center-right Eleftheros Typos said: “Tsipras’ games finish at today’s council: Time of crisis: deal or Grexit.”Greek newspapers said the proposals would be based on ideas that Juncker put forward at the end of June with a few tweaks and would not differ much from the last plans presented by Athens itself last week.Euro zone national officials were irritated that Juncker had gone beyond the agreed negotiating mandate of the three creditor institutions in his last-ditch diplomacy, and it is not clear that they will be more receptive to his ideas now.A clear majority of Greece’s 18 partners favor a hard line at the summit, arguing that they too are democracies and that Greeks should not get easier money because they had rejected the austerity terms, casting further doubt on whether they would implement any reforms agreed now.
The ECB left unchanged its emergency liquidity lifeline for Greek banks but raised the discount it charges on collateral they have to present for funds – a measure banking sources said was largely symbolic since the total they could borrow was capped.A bank closure in force since the talks collapsed was prolonged until Thursday at least, and cash withdrawals remain limited to 60 euros a day, with 20 euro notes running out.The Athens stock exchange was also ordered closed for two days in Tuesday and Wednesday to throttle speculation.Even with the country on the brink of economic collapse, Greek newspapers reported the government was still seeking exceptions from its reform pledges for special interests.Athens wants to keep a 30 percent discount on value added tax on Greek islands and protect defense spending from cuts, which rightist junior coalition partners the Independent Greeks have called “red lines”.

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