[ATHENS] Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras asked parliament early Saturday to approve his reform proposals to creditors as a "national responsibility" that would keep the struggling nation inside the European Union.
"It is a choice of high national responsibility, we have a national duty to keep our people alive...we will succeed not only to stay in Europe but to live as equal peers with dignity and pride," Mr Tsipras said.
The 40-year-old premier wants parliament to approve a 13-page package of reform proposals that will be examined by the country's eurozone creditors this weekend in a last-ditch bid to keep Greece in the common currency.
The government is asking for a three-year funding plan including debt relief and a separate 35-billion-euro investment package.
In return, Mr Tsipras has caved in to demands by the creditors for a pension overhaul, tax hikes and privatisations.
Facing opposition from hardliners in his radical left Syriza party, Mr Tsipras admitted mistakes had been made but insisted this was the best possible deal for Greece.
"The loan deal...entails many proposals that are far from our pledges, from what we feel is right for the recovery of the economy," the prime minister said.
But he insisted that the deal was "marginally better" than proposals put forward by the creditors last month that did not offer debt relief.
A number of Syriza lawmakers have stated they will oppose the government's proposals, but opposition parties have stated their intention to support the deal.
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