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Belgium: Eurogroup ministers begin informal talks over Greek debt deal01:20

Belgium: Eurogroup ministers begin informal talks over Greek debt deal

Belgium, Brussels
July 12, 2015 at 02:31 GMT +00:00 · Published

Prominent Eurogroup finance ministers including Wolfgang Schauble, Michel Sapin and Euclid Tsakalotos held last-minute informal talks at the Lex building in Brussels, Sunday before a formal Eurogroup leaders meeting on the Greek debt crisis starts later in the day.

A nine-hour meeting of euro zone finance ministers was adjourned early Sunday morning, with Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem describing negotiations as "very difficult."

A meeting of the Eurogroup leaders is now scheduled to start at 14:00 GMT, European Council President Donald Tusk announced Sunday, following the cancellation of a European Council Summit scheduled for the same day. The negotiations come exactly a week after Greek voters rejected the terms of a bailout in a referendum.

Members of the Hellenic Parliament voted to back Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' new bailout plan, early Saturday, paving the way for Sunday's negotiations with Brussels. The new Greek proposal offers economic reforms in exchange for a new three-year €53.50 billion ($60 billion) bailout package. Tsipras won the support of 250 out of 300 MPs.

The new proposals reportedly include the privatisation of regional airports and seaports, raising the retirement age to 67 by 2022, abolishing solidarity instalments for poorer pensioners before 2020, increasing the number of items with a 23 percent tax rate, cutting military spending by €300 million ($335 million) over the next two years and raising corporation tax to 28 percent.

Belgium: Eurogroup ministers begin informal talks over Greek debt deal01:20
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Prominent Eurogroup finance ministers including Wolfgang Schauble, Michel Sapin and Euclid Tsakalotos held last-minute informal talks at the Lex building in Brussels, Sunday before a formal Eurogroup leaders meeting on the Greek debt crisis starts later in the day.

A nine-hour meeting of euro zone finance ministers was adjourned early Sunday morning, with Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem describing negotiations as "very difficult."

A meeting of the Eurogroup leaders is now scheduled to start at 14:00 GMT, European Council President Donald Tusk announced Sunday, following the cancellation of a European Council Summit scheduled for the same day. The negotiations come exactly a week after Greek voters rejected the terms of a bailout in a referendum.

Members of the Hellenic Parliament voted to back Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' new bailout plan, early Saturday, paving the way for Sunday's negotiations with Brussels. The new Greek proposal offers economic reforms in exchange for a new three-year €53.50 billion ($60 billion) bailout package. Tsipras won the support of 250 out of 300 MPs.

The new proposals reportedly include the privatisation of regional airports and seaports, raising the retirement age to 67 by 2022, abolishing solidarity instalments for poorer pensioners before 2020, increasing the number of items with a 23 percent tax rate, cutting military spending by €300 million ($335 million) over the next two years and raising corporation tax to 28 percent.

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