As Slate’s Joshua Keating noted on Thursday, it’s a bit hard to get excited about these Greece deadlines when it seems that every week there’s a new make-or-break moment for the country.
Lawmakers in the Greek parliament overwhelmingly backed a package of economic reforms and further austerity measures, in the hope that it will convince its European partners to back a third bailout of the country.
A source close to the negotiations said the worldwide creditors saw the Greek package “under certain conditions…as a basis for discussion” but the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks, said creditors were still looking stronger commitments, tighter deadlines and more urgent action on several issues highlighted in the Greek proposals.
The mood among officials in Brussels was upbeat earlier yesterday after the Greek parliament passed proposals to implement a suite of reforms on Friday night.
Among the members of Mr Tsipras’s own Syriza party who abstained were Speaker Zoe Constantopoulou and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis.
Queueing Saturday at a cash machine in Athens, Vassilis Papoutsoglou, 52, said: “We still don t know what will happen tomorrow”.
Ex- finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, who resigned this week, was absent for family reasons, saying on Twitter he was spending the weekend with his daughter who was visiting from Australia.
Tsipras was elected in January after promising to end the austerity measures which he said had driven the Greek economy into the ditch and needed to be replaced by a major stimulus programme.
The new Greek proposals include more pension cuts and tax hikes – demands that the European Union finance ministers have been making of Greece and which voters rejected in last Sunday’s referendum.
Without a deal, Greece risks of being the first nation to crash out of the euro.
Emerging optimism about Greece had been “destroyed in an incredible way in the last few months” since Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras won power, he said.
“We are talking about financing gaps that go beyond anything that we’ve talked about in the past”, Wolfgang Schäuble said. “From here on there is a minefield, and I don’t have the right to dismiss this or hide it from the Greek people”, he said.
Greece’s new reform proposals will be examined by Eurozone creditors over the weekend. And if Greece wants more money, it would have to do more than just promise reforms. “I am afraid of one thing: national division and civil war”.
A meeting of European Union leaders is due to be held on Sunday, by which time the prospect of a debt deal being agreed should become clearer.
In exchange, the proposal foresees creditors offering Greece a third bailout worth 53.5 billion, enough to cover Greece’s debts for the next three years and to avoid a messy Greek exit from the euro zone.
The coalition government has 162 and pledged backing from a large section of opposition lawmakers..
The chairman of Eurogroup finance ministers confirmed receiving the documents but will not comment until they have been assessed by experts from the European Commission, European Central Bank and global Monetary Fund. US stock futures jumped 1 percent in early Asian trade on the announced measures.
President Francois Hollande called the offer “serious and credible”.