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Tsipras bailout plan for Greece scrutinised at home and abroad

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By Alasdair Sandford
Tsipras bailout plan for Greece scrutinised at home and abroad

The Greek prime minister’s late, late proposals to creditors to secure a rescue package and keep the country in the eurozone are being scrutinised at home and abroad.

In Athens a parliamentary commission has been meeting ahead of a later debate and vote involving all MPs.

Eurozone finance ministers are also examining the details; they are expected to give their verdict ahead of a full EU summit on Sunday.

Alexis Tsipras met members of the ruling Syriza party on Friday morning to seek their backing.

Several left-wing figures oppose the plan which would involve just the kind of austerity measures previously rejected by Alexis Tsipras himself – and Greek voters at last weekend’s referendum.

But the package is expected to be passed thanks to backing by opposition parties.

Athens has been asked to pass laws on “prior actions” to convince lenders of its intent on implementing reforms.

The proposals – which have been described as a climbdown or even capitulation by Athens – include raising taxes, pension reforms, spending cuts and privatisations.

It’s thought some debt restructuring may be offered in return.

Despite renewed optimism – the markets and the French government have responded positively – Greece’s banks are still in dire straits and some analysts say it’s far from certain that the plan will be enough to secure a deal.

The parties in Germany’s coalition government sent conflicting signals on the latest Greek reform proposals.

Tsipras and his cabinet spent Thursday putting the last-ditch cash-for-reforms package together.

Between now and the end of 2016, Greece proposes scrapping tax breaks for its islands and cutting defence spending by 300 million euros. The package would see VAT raised; and early retirement curbed.

In return, Athens is asking for 53.5 billion euros’ of funding to cover its loan obligations till the end of 2018.

European leaders are expected to announce their decision following Sunday’s summit.