Greek debt talks exclusive: “We've made the half distance.. it's the institutions' turn”

Greek debt talks exclusive: “We've made the half distance.. it's the institutions' turn”
By Efi Koutsokosta
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Greece has proposed measures to increase its planned planned budget surpluses this year and next in its latest offer to unblock talks over financing its debt.

Instead of previously suggested primary surpluses of 0.5% in 2015 and 1.5% in 2016, the new plan, sent by the Greek negotiating team to the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, lays out 0.75% this year and 1.75% next, according to a Greek source. The institutions had been asking for 1% and 2% respectively, Euronews understands.

After talks last week collapsed with each side accusing the other of unreasonable behavior, Greek ministers Euclides Tsakalotos and Nikos Pappas spoke to EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici on Monday afternoon before the new offer was submitted this morning.

A greek government source involved at the heart of the negotiations said: “Greece has made tha half distance, now it’s the institutions’ turn to do the other half”.

The other aspect of the new proposals, based on the first 47 page Greek plan which was submitted last week, is the financing of the debt.

According to the same Greek government source, the new document features an analytical explanation on how this could be done to finally put to bed discussions around a “Grexit.”

Concerning pensions and the insurance system, the greek government insists that it’s not going to accept any further cuts except some early pensions as these remain red line issues.

“Diverse proposals are being circulated including new suggestions which were received earlier this morning,” European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said.

“The three institutions are currently assessing these suggestions with diligence and care,” Schinas added, referring to the Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

According to EU sources, however, the proposals are not considered as fully satisfactory and further work is needed.

The Greek negotiating team stayed in Brussels on Wednesday waiting for an official response by the institutions or another meeting.

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