New Greek proposals offer Eurozone leaders have optimism that a new deal can be struck to stop Greece defaulting on its debt.
Greece is obligated to repay a €1.6bn (£1.1bn) International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan by the end of June. If Greece defaults on the debt, it risks crashing out of the Euro and possibly the European Union (EU).
Leaders from all 19 Eurozone nations are currently gathered in Brussels for an emergency summit in an attempt to find a deal to end the crisis.
No deal has yet been struck, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed that the latest Greek proposals showed “some progress” on the issue, and brought the ideas of EU and Greek leaders closer together.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said:
“I’m convinced that we will come to a final agreement in the course of this week, for the simple reason that we have to find an agreement this week.”
Some of the proposals believed to be being discussed for the new deal include new taxes on the wealthy, new taxes on businesses, increases in VAT, increasing pension contributions.
In alignment with the campaign promises of Greece’s Syriza government, the proposals do not include any further cuts to pensions or public-sector wages or deeper austerity.
Only if a deal can be reached in the coming days will Greece’s creditors release €7.2bn in life-saving additional loans and bailout funds.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank (ECB) has approved additional emergency funding for Greek bands, after Greek savers withdrew more than €4bn in recent days over fears that Greece may soon crash out of the Euro and plunge into further economic uncertainty.