With zero hour fast approaching on the Greek debt crisis, Greece has submitted a new set of proposals in an effort to reach an agreement with its international creditors.
The suggested reforms include additional taxes on business and the wealthy, as well as increased VAT on certain items.
European Council President Donald Tusk said the measures put forward on Monday were the first “real proposals” submitted by the debt-ridden country in many weeks.
Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem welcomed the “broad and comprehensive” reforms but said it would take time to review the proposal more carefully.
Greek Minister of State Nikos Pappas told euronews the his government is confident its latest proposals will end the five-month-long deadlock.
“I think whoever goes through our document will understand that we have done what we had to do. And anybody who publicly insists that we have not done our share is not telling the truth.”
Arriving at Monday evening’s summit in Brussels, French Prime Minister Francois Hollande praised the latest Greek efforts:
“Progress has been achieved in the last few days – even in the last few hours,” he said. “The Greek government has put forward new proposals, stronger and more precise – it’s taken them a lot of effort. The Greek government wants to get out of this crisis and has accepted its responsibilities.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel however warned that nothing could be resolved at Monday’s meeting.
“The subject of today’s summit is Greece, but after the eurogroup meeting, there is no basis for a decision. Therefore, today will only be a summit of consultation,” she told reporters outside the meeting.
The leaders of all 19 eurozone countries have come to Brussels to find a solution to the crisis ahead of the June 30 deadline when Greece is scheduled to repay 1.6 billion euro to the IMF.
If the country defaults, it risks crashing out of the single currency and, potentially, the EU.