Belfast Telegraph

Greece to put forward pension and tax reform proposals

By Andrew Woodcock

Greece promised to implement pension and tax reforms as early as next week as the first step to securing a three-year rescue loan to cover debt obligations, according to a letter requesting the funding from the country's European partners.

In the letter sent to the European bailout fund yesterday released by the government, Greece also pledges to honour its financial obligations and detail reform proposals for evaluation by the creditors by today.

"We trust Member States appreciate the urgency of our loan request at this time given the fragility of our banking system, our shortage of available liquidity, our upcoming obligations, our build-up of internal arrears, and our expressed desire to clear our outstanding arrears with the IMF and the Bank of Greece," the letter from the Greek finance minister said.

Athens also said it welcomed an "opportunity to explore potential measures" to make its debt sustainable, as part of broader discussions to be held.

Earlier, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has issued a plea for a resolution to his country's debt crisis which will offer "light at the end of the tunnel" after more than five years of austerity.

Mr Tsipras told the European Parliament that proposals presented to the Eurogroup would involve restructuring of Greece's debts along with a package of reforms taking on wealthy vested interests in the country who, he said had so far failed to bear their share of the burden.

Belfast Telegraph