Greece debt crisis: Greek finance minister turns up to Eurogroup meeting without new proposals

There were conflicting reports of whether Greece had any new proposals ahead of the Eurogroup meeting on Tuesday

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The Independent Online

Greece’s new finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos has arrived at a meeting of European finance ministers today without any new proposals for reform, according to multiple sources.

Instead, Tsakalotos put forward European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker’s proposals – the same ones Greeks rejected in the referendum on Sunday – but with amendments.

Those proposals included keeping a VAT rebate for Greek islands and a VAT rate of 13 per cent for restaurants.

The Tuesday meeting had been billed as Greece’s last chance to salvage a bailout deal from its European lenders after a referendum on Sunday in which the Greek people overwhelming voted against European proposals for reform.

The news that Greece came to the summit without new ideas only added to frustrations in a crisis replete with last chances and short on actual progress.

However a Greek government spokesman confirmed that Greece was putting forward the same proposals as before the referendum. "The government put forward its proposals last week. They hadn't been discussed then at eurogroup because the eurozone finance ministers said they would wait for the referendum," the spokesman said.

EU ministers were not going to stay in Brussels until Wednesday to discuss any proposals that surfaced, according to reports. Instead Greece’s three lenders, the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, would look over the proposals before another meeting.

The summit was Tsakalotos’s first job as finance minister after Yanis Varoufakis resigned on Sunday.

He walked straight past the waiting press on arrival at a midday meeting of European finance ministers, in sharp contrast to Varoufakis, who was known for being outspoken.

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