Greece faces 48 hours that could determine future in euro

Athens must submit detailed reform proposals or risk expulsion from currency

 Greece’s prime minister Alexis Tsipras talks with  president  Prokopis Pavlopoulos in the Presidential Hall in Athens. Photograph: Fotis Plegas G/EPA.

Greece’s prime minister Alexis Tsipras talks with president Prokopis Pavlopoulos in the Presidential Hall in Athens. Photograph: Fotis Plegas G/EPA.

 

Greece must submit detailed reform proposals to creditors by midnight on Thursday or risk expulsion from the euro zone, officials have said, as the country faces 48 hours that could determine its future in the single currency.

While Greece submitted an application to the European Stability Mechanism for a third bailout package on Wednesday, it has not yet specified the reforms it is proposing in exchange for further bailout loans.

The European Commission said it is making plans for a possible Greek exit from the euro zone, with some EU sources suggesting Sunday’s summit could open discussion on an exit if a deal is not struck in the coming days.

But in Paris, French prime minister Manuel Valls appeared to rule out an exit, telling MPs a deal was “within grasp”. “Allowing Greece to exit the euro zone would be an admission of impotence – France refuses that.”

In a boost for the Greek government, US treasury secretary Jack Lew echoed IMF calls for debt relief inclusion in any bailout package.

As banks in Greece remained closed, the European Central Bank tightened the screws further on the Greek banking sector, after the governing council refused to increase the amount of emergency liquidity it is providing to Greek banks.