Greece offers new proposals ahead of emergency summit
By Lefteris Papadimas and Jan Strupczewski
ATHENS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made a new offer on a reforms package to foreign creditors on Sunday, signaling 11th-hour concessions to break a deadlock that has pushed Greece to the brink of bankruptcy.
After months of wrangling and with anxious depositors pulling billions of euros out of Greek banks, Tsipras's leftist government showed a new willingness this weekend to make concessions that would unlock frozen aid to avert default.
French President Francois Hollande, on a visit to Milan, confirmed Greece had offered new proposals although EU diplomats said no formal written proposal had arrived.
It was not immediately clear how far the new proposal yielded to creditors' demands for additional spending cuts and tax hikes, but the offer was a ray of hope that a last-minute deal may yet be wrangled before Athens runs out of cash.
A day before emergency meetings including a summit of euro zone leaders in Brussels, Tsipras was holed up in a marathon cabinet meeting and discussed the new offer with the leaders of Germany, France and the European Commission by phone.
"The prime minister presented the three leaders Greece's proposal for a mutually beneficial agreement that will give a definitive solution and not a postponement of addressing the problem," a statement from Tsipras's office said.
He is due to meet the Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and IMF head Christine Lagarde on Monday morning before the meetings with euro zone leaders in the early afternoon.
Elected on a pledge to end austerity, Tsipras has defiantly resisted demands to cut pension spending and is pushing strongly for debt relief in return for any concessions. Continued...