New Greek Budget Not At Pledge Level

GREGreece pulled back on budget concessions to its creditors in new proposals Tuesday, as German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said it would be ?daft? to accept blame for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras?s predicament.

The latest proposals fall short of the budget targets that Tsipras agreed on in a June 3 meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, an EU official said. Greece didn?t dispute those targets in any of its subsequent meetings with creditor institutions last week, according to the official.

As a result, Greece is sliding backward in its negotiations as it enters the last weeks of its bailout deal. On June 30, Greece?s financial safety net is set to expire, putting any remaining funds off limits unless Tsipras can reach a deal with creditors before then.

The European Commission pledged to review Greece?s new plans with ?care and diligence,? neither rejecting the new plans nor committing to further meetings. Greek officials are targeting an encounter between their prime minister, Germany?s Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande at a summit in Brussels on Wednesday as the next step toward accessing aid.

A spokesman for Hollande said the French leader is open to a meeting with Tsipras but nothing has so far been scheduled. The French government is aiming to wrap up negotiations over aid for Greece by the end of this week.

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who leads euro-area finance ministers, said experts are examining the new plan ?to see whether that?s substantial enough to come closer to a solution,? he said in a Dutch television interview.

End of the Line

Almost four months after Tsipras agreed an extension of Greece?s rescue agreement, the standoff between creditors and the anti-austerity coalition led by Tsipra?s party, Syriza, risks leaving Europe?s most-indebted state unable to meet debt payments. Greece has used a series of maneuvers to stay afloat yet may be reaching the end of the line unless it accepts creditors? conditions.

Greece gave creditors new proposals to supplement last week?s plans, address budget concerns and offer a proposal on debt sustainability, a Greek official said Tuesday. The plans went to European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, who met with Greek negotiators Monday in Brussels.

The Greek proposals consist of two three-page documents, one international official familiar with the matter said, asking not to be named, as he is not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. They include a Greek request for funds from the European Stability Mechanism to repay about 6.7 billion euros of bonds held by the European Central Bank that come due in July and August.

Greek Proposals

Under the latest Greek plan, Tsipras wants access to bailout funds left in the European Financial Stability Facility and for the country?s banks to be allowed to buy more of the state?s short-term debt, an international official said. The official described the revised Greek plan as a vague rehash of earlier proposals and said it is still not considered credible.

Euro-area authorities said talks with Greece would continue, while leaving options open for what meetings would take place and at what level.

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