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Greece new proposals balanced: French premier

8 July 2015 22:40



French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said fresh proposals put forward by the Greek government in exchange for a new bailout are a step in the right direction.

“This request… is balanced, positive. It shows a real willingness to move forward and reform,” Valls told a parliament session in Paris on Tuesday.

The French premier also described the new proposals as an “important step which will allow for negotiations” between Greece and its international creditors.

Valls said keeping Greece in the eurozone was a “geopolitical issue of the highest importance”, noting that Athens’ withdrawal would affect the entire Europe.

“An exit would definitely cause a drop in revenues, exploding import costs, including for basic goods, social and political consequences that none of us are able to predict. Is that what we want for the Greek people? the French premier said, adding, “Is that the image of Europe we want to give to the world?”

The remarks come a day after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that his government had submitted its international creditors a proposal for an agreement on a bailout deal.

The proposal contained “credible reforms that are socially just and include in reciprocity a commitment to cover the country’s financial needs in the medium term, a strong investment package to counter big problems such as unemployment, as well as the start of substantial talks and the restructuring of debt,” the Greek premier said on Tuesday.

He also expressed hope that his debt-ridden country would meet an end-of-the-week deadline set by eurozone leaders to reach a bailout deal or risk leaving the euro.

The Greek premier, however, said that Greece would sign a deal with its international lenders in the hope of a definitive end to Greece’s protracted financial crisis.

Pensioners wait in front of the gate of the National Bank of Greece as they wait to withdraw money, with a maximum of 60 euros, in the capital, Athens, July 7, 2015. ( AFP photo)


Greece has rejected austerity measures demanded by international creditors– the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – in return for renewed funding in a weekend referendum.

Senior Greek official in Athens have since formally asked for a new bailout to avoid crashing out of the euro.

Premier Tsipras has also said that his government will submit “credible reform” plan, which reportedly focuses on pension and tax reforms, to its creditors on Thursday.

Greece received two bailout packages in 2010 and 2012, worth a total of €240 billion ($272 billion) from its creditors following its 2009 economic crisis. In return for the bailouts, Athens committed to implementing harsh austerity measures, which triggered public outcry.

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