Greece crisis: Bailout plan leaked - Tsipras and European lenders make concessions

All parties are cramming in negotiations ahead of an EU summit due to start on Thursday evening

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The Independent Online

The Greek bailout plan has been leaked and it looks like both sides are making concessions.

The document, which was leaked by the Financial Times, shows that Athens may be forced to raise the retirement age in Greece to 67 by 2022. Tsipras wanted until 2036 to make the change, but had compromised on 2025 by Monday.

It looks like the lenders are meeting Tsipras halfway on the time it will take to phase out a top-up fund for poorer pensioners. They had called for 2017, while Athens pushed for 2020. The leaked plan says 2019.

Greek bail-out proposals leaked on Thursday June 25


The leaked plan also makes concessions to Greece’s hardline stance on VAT, opting for a three-tier system with the lowest taxes for pharmaceuticals, books and theatre rather than the two-tier system European lenders favoured.

Negotiations for a last minute deal between Greece and its European lenders got off to an early start on Thursday, with technical officials hard at work from sunrise ahead of a meeting of the Eurogroup finance ministers at midday.

Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, was not far behind them. He met with the head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde  and the ECB President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels at 8am.

All parties are cramming in negotiations ahead of an EU summit due to start on Thursday evening, which will take time away from officials dealing with the Greek crisis. David Cameron has travelled to Brussels for the summit to talk about the UK’s position in the EU, though he may find it difficult with Greece negotiations ongoing.

Tsipras railed against lenders on Twitter yesterday, insisting that Greece was being treated unfairly compared to other countries that have had to receive emergency aid, like Ireland and Portugal.

Lagarde is reported to have been particularly scathing about the Greek proposals, saying they relied too heavily on tax hikes, and did not go far enough in reducing government bureaucracy.

According to his PR, Tsipras responded by saying the IMF served ‘specific interests’, which could mean the interests of the US Government in Washington.

European markets opened lower on Thursday.

There was some hope that the lunchtime talks could herald progress. Alex Stubb, Finland's finance minister, said last night that by which time “we hope to have a concrete proposal”, according to the Telegraph, while Pierre Muscovici, the European Commissioner for Economics, tweeted: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”