D-Day for Greece

debtThe Greek Prime Minister warned his country has reached the ‘demarked line’ as he begged his government to accept a humiliating climbdown on austerity in a final bid to secure a third bailout.

Alexis Tsipras was locked in angry debates with his MPs last night as he tried to get agreement for the deal before a ‘final’ meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels today.

It comes amid claims investment banking giant Goldman Sachs could face legal action for its role in helping Greece initially enter the euro in 2001.

One of the company’s former bankers has written to the Greek government to advise that it could sue for hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the Independent.

In a last-ditch attempt at securing his country’s fate, Tsipras proposed 13 billion euro (£9.3bn) of further austerity measures, including tax hikes and pension cuts.

If the 13-pages of reform proposals is approved by international creditors, Greece would get a three-year loan package worth nearly 53.5 billion euros (£38.4bn) as well as some form of debt relief.

Tspiras admitted his government had made mistakes during his six-month tenure but said he had negotiated as hard as he could in a speech delivered after midnight.

‘There is no doubt that for six months now we’ve been in a war,’ he said, adding that his government had fought ‘difficult battles’ and had lost some of them.

‘Now I have the feeling we’ve reached the demarcation line. From here on there is a minefield, and I don’t have the right to dismiss this or hide it from the Greek people.’

The latest proposal was sent to rescue creditors who are due to meet this weekend to decide whether it will be approved.

It is not clear whether a deal can be agreed in time to stop Greece crashing out of the eurozone tomorrow though a vote is expected to take place imminently.

Speaking on the deal, he added: ‘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.’

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, who heads the government’s junior coalition member Independent Greeks, said he was advocating a vote in favor of the proposal.

This is despite the fact it goes against the principles of his party, which holds 13 seats in the 300-member parliament.

‘I want to state clearly, I am not afraid of Grexit,’ he said, referring to the possibility of Greece leaving the euro. ‘I am afraid of one thing: national division and civil war.’

Germany, Slovakia and Latvia voiced doubts about the credibility of promises by Mr Tsipras, who is promoting measures he opposed last week.

Britain could face a bill of up to £1.5billion in emergency aid for Greece if the country is forced out of the single currency, according to Open Europe.

Raoul Ruparel, an analyst at the think-tank, said Greece was likely to need up to £24billion in emergency aid to help rebuild its shattered economy and provide vital supplies such as food and medicines.

He added: ‘While the cost of transitional funding should be predominantly shouldered by the eurozone, there is a geopolitical and humanitarian case on the part of other EU members for helping stabilise Greece and keep it inside the EU.’

But Greece could be in with a chance of clawing back some of its losses after threats of potential legal action against Goldman Sachs came to light.

The company is said to have made almost £500million from transactions known as ‘swaps’, though it denies that figure, it has been reported.

Oxford-educated Antigone ‘Addy’ Loudiadis was said to have been paid up to $12million to help seal the deal of gaining Greece’s entry to the single currency, according to the Independent.

Former Goldman banker, Jaber George Jabour, who successfully helped Portugal in the financial crisis, told Athens it could ‘right historical wrongs as part of [its] plan to reduce Greece’s debt’.

David Cameron is braced for demands for cash at an emergency summit of EU leaders on the Greek crisis in Brussels tomorrow.

Obscure EU funding mechanisms mean Britain may be unable to opt out of a financial aid package if Greece crashes out of the eurozone.

But ministers are determined to keep Britain out of an aid deal if Greece stays in the euro, arguing the crisis is of the eurozone’s making.

Ratings agency Moody’s predicted that Greek banks, shut for a fortnight, will run out of money tomorrow.

EU leaders, who have grown increasingly frustrated by the antics of Greece’s far-Left Syriza government, voiced serious doubts about Mr Tsipras’s plan.

Senior figures in German chancellor Angela Merkel’s party said Greece should leave the single currency.

Ralph Brinkhaus, deputy parliamentary leader, said: ‘I’m asking myself how seriously I can take these proposals when it was the Greek government that campaigned against them.’

Hans-Peter Friedrich, of the Bavarian Christian Social Union, said the plan was ‘no basis for further negotiations’.

Latvian president Laimdota Straujuma warned it might be impossible to get a deal through her parliament ‘because the average pension in Latvia is considerably less than in Greece’.

But socialist French president Francois Hollande – among Greece’s few allies in recent weeks – described the proposals as ‘serious and credible’.(Daily mail)

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