EU's list of proposals on a default-saving loan deal for Greece is aggressive, the Greek finance minister said. The list prepared by the European Commission includes sales tax hikes, privatizations and cuts in civil servants' salaries and pensions, aimed at ending Athens' debt crisis, Pravda.Ru reports.
"It was an aggressive move designed to terrorize the Greek government.... This Greek government cannot be terrorized," Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Sunday.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rejected the proposal, calling on the nation's international creditors to withdraw their "absurd" demands for additional austerity cuts in return for unlocking the final bailout funds.
Greece has been engaged in months of negotiations with its creditors, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union (EU), and the European Central Bank (ECB), with the aim of unlocking the last €7.2 billion (USD 7.8 billion) tranche of its bailout deal. As there is no deal on the horizon and there are billions of dollars in loan repayments, a potential Greek debt default is feared which, in turn, could lead the country toward crashing out of the 19-nation eurozone.
Varoufakis further described the proposals as "borderline insulting," adding, "We need reforms, debt restructuring and investment.... If we don't have all three together, we will not sign" the deal.
This comes as European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, while speaking at a Group of Seven (G7) summit in Germany on Sunday, said he was still waiting for an alternative proposal from Athens aimed at ending its current debt crisis.
Greece, which has received USD 330 billion in international loans since it plunged into an economic crisis in 2009, has proposed a budget surplus of 0.8 percent for the present year and 1.5 percent for the year 2016. Greece's lenders, however, want a budget surplus of one percent for 2015 and two percent for 2016, reports say.
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