Greece eyes austerity in fresh EU bailout bid

Greece has submitted a fresh proposal to the EU in a bid to secure a 53.5 billion euro ($59bn) rescue package to help cover its debts until 2018 and stave off bankruptcy.
Greece on Thursday submitted an economic plan that included a slew of tax hikes, pension cuts and spending cuts in return for the three-year aid package.
The Greek government will ask the country’s parliament on Friday to authorise it to negotiate a list of “prior actions” it would take before any fresh aid funds could be distributed.
Last-ditch package
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spent Thursday with his cabinet drafting the last-ditch package of measures on which Greece’s survival in the eurozone hinges.
A further vote at Greece’s parliament would be needed to turn them into law if eurozone leaders agree at a summit on Sunday that the proposals are a basis for starting negotiations on a three-year loan and releasing some bridging funds to keep Greece afloat.
Debt-stricken Greece’s creditors have previously demanded pension cuts and tax reforms in return for a new rescue package.
In its latest offer, Athens bowed to demands to phase out tax breaks for its islands and to increase taxes on shipping companies.
The offer also includes defence spending cuts, a firm timetable for privatising state assets such as Piraeus port and regional airports, hikes in VAT for hotels and restaurants, and slashing a top-up payment for poorer pensioners.

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