|European Union offers Greece last minute deal as loan repayment deadline ends today|
European Union has offered Greece a last-minute deal to ease the crisis that is threatening the country out of the euro and weaken the foundations of the European Union’s single currency. Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European Union’s executive branch, offered the Greek prime minister, Alex Tsipras, a proposal with possibility of a concession on demands for cuts in bonus payments for the poorest pensioners.
European officials said, in return, however, Mr. Tsipras would have to accept all of the other creditors’ demands, which he had already turned down, and request an emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers today. European Unions leaders have warned Greeks that rejecting creditors’ proposals in a snap referendum called for next Sunday would mean leaving the euro. German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said the vote would be yes or no to the eurozone.
Talks between Greece and its creditors broke down last week, leading to Greek banks having to shut this week. Global stock markets fell sharply yesterday. Investors have been concerned by the probability that Athens will be unable to meet a 1.6 billion euro loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund that is due today.
Meanwhile, speaking to Greek television yesterday evening, the Greek Prime Minister urged as many Greeks to vote no as possible on Sunday to give his government a stronger position to restart negotiations. He said his government had a mandate to be within the European framework but with more justice. Mr Tsipras hinted strongly that he would resign if the result of the referendum was a yes vote.
Some 17,000 people took to the streets of Athens and Thessaloniki yesterday to say no to the latest offer of a bailout deal, accusing Greece’s international creditors of blackmail. Many of the demonstrators support the Greek Prime Minister and said they would heed his call to vote against the latest deal in the referendum.