Eurozone bailout fund receives Greek aid request

Greece Bank

Greece Bank

The eurozone’s bailout fund said Wednesday Greece had formally submitted a request for a new aid programme, just days before a final deadline to reach a debt deal.

“The ESM has received the Greek request,” a spokesman for the European Stability Mechanism told AFP.

The Greek request to the ESM was the first step demanded by the leaders of the single currency bloc at an emergency summit in Brussels late Tuesday, following a weekend referendum in which Greece rejected further austerity demanded in return for fresh funding.

To obtain the new aid, Athens must now submit a complete reform plan to the eurozone by Thursday night ahead of a full EU summit on Sunday, which EU leaders said was the “final deadline” to save Greece from bankruptcy and risk of it crashing out of the eurozone.

A European source said the request was for a new loan programme lasting three years in exchange for a series of far-reaching economic reforms.

Michel Reijns, spokesman for the president of the Eurogroup — the finance ministers of the eurozone — confirmed a “request for ESM support” had been received from the Greek government.

He said there would be no finance ministers’ teleconference, but the request would be dealt with on Wednesday by the Eurogroup Working Group, comprising senior officials.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday that he was “confident” of meeting the end-of-the-week deadline set by eurozone leaders to reach a bailout deal.


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