Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis attempting to get past a crowd of reporters on his way to the Prime Minister's residence (Photo: AP)
The Greek government has just proposed a new bailout programme, according to various news sources in Athens. PM Alexis Tsipras has issued a statement in which he stressed that "the Greek government will until the end seek a viable agreement within the euro”, Reuters reports.
This new programme would not be an extension of the current bailout, but would be a new programme altogether, using funds from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to stabilise the country's financial situation over the next two years. The Greek government intends to negotiate a debt restructuring alongside this programme, according to Zeit Online.
According to The Guardian's Athens correspondent, deputy prime minister Yannis Dragasakis will officially announce news of the new programme tonight, while Alexis Tsipras is expected to fly to Brussels tonight to discuss the proposal with creditors.
The finance ministers of the EU will also discuss the proposal in a teleconference tonight, president of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem announced on Twitter.
The details of this programme have yet to be clarified. The access to ESM funds, which have previously been used to bail out Cyprus as well as the Spanish banking sector, comes with a subordination to strict fiscal and economic rules, Repubblica.it reports.
The Greek proposal thus entails more austerity measures. The political cost of accepting these measures could be damning for Tsipras' anti-austerity government, especially since its deteriorating relationship with the "troika" is currently unlikely to gain them a lot of concessions, The Guardian estimates.
Whether this new offer by Greece can stave off a default is equally uncertain, as German chancellor Angela Merkel has stressed that the current bailout programme will expire tonight, whatever happens. Reacting to the new Greek proposal, she further stated that Germany could not consider another proposal before the referendum on Sunday, DPA reports.
"The programme ends tonight at 00:00 CET exactly, and I do not know of any other solid indications", she said at a press conference today. "Of course, we will not cut our channels of communication after midnight. The door remains open for talks, but that is all I can say for now", she added.