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Eurozone to discuss new Greece request

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Eurozone finance ministers will hold an emergency conference call on Tuesday to discuss a last-minute proposal by Athens, just hours before Greece's current bailout expires, Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said.

[BRUSSELS] Eurozone finance ministers will hold an emergency conference call on Tuesday to discuss a last-minute proposal by Athens, just hours before Greece's current bailout expires, Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said.

"Extraordinary Eurogroup teleconference tonight 19:00 (1700 GMT) Brussels time to discuss official request of Greek government received this afternoon," Dutch finance minister Mr Dijsselbloem said in a tweet.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras requested a two-year rescue deal with the European Union to save the crisis-hit country, just hours before its international bailout expires later Tuesday.

Mt Tsipras also requested a short extension to its current bailout programme to avoid a "technical default," with a 1.5 billion euro payment due to the IMF in just hours.

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The call comes just three days after the Eurogroup rejected Greece's request for an extension to its bailout, following the Greek government's announcement of a referendum on Sunday on reform demands by Athens's creditors.

In a statement Tuesday, the Greek government said the radical-leftist government "remained at the table" and made a request for a new two-year rescue programme with the EU's bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism.

The Greek government has recommended that voters vote 'no' to reforms demanded by its EU-IMF creditors.

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday set out a his own "last-minute" solution to reach a debt deal before the referendum.

Mr Juncker said a deal would involve Mr Tsipras accepting the reform proposals that Greece's EU-IMF creditors made at the weekend and backing a "yes" vote in Sunday's plebiscite.

AFP

Read more on the Greek crisis here
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