Greek deal in the balance as hostilities rise

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (L) is welcomed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

A RESCUE deal for Greece hangs in the balance as the country’s creditors are believed to have said concessions made by the left-wing Syriza government do not go far enough. In response, Prime Minister Alex Tsipras has angrily claimed that his opposites in negotiations “either don’t want an agreement or they are serving specific interests.”

The proposals put forward by Greece this week, through which they aim to raise €7.9 billion, have included raising VAT on some goods, increasing tax rates on luxury goods and corporate tax and placing restrictions on early retirement, which could see an eventual rise in the retirement age.

Tsipras is in meetings with the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and the European Commission this afternoon, but it’s reported that before the meeting, head of the IMF Christine Lagarde said the Greek plan was insufficient.

Syriza have already received criticism on home turf from supporters, with whom the proposed pension reform is deeply unpopular. The Greeks have reiterated that cuts to their beleaguered public sector workers’ wages was a red line they would not cross.

European leaders are due to meet tomorrow (Thursday June 25) and have delegated Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the chair of the group of EU finance ministers, to work through the night if need be to hammer out a deal. Failure to do so could see Greece miss their loan repayment due on June 30, and crash out of the Euro.

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