July 8, 2015
Greece is set to make a formal request for a new bailout programme as early as Wednesday, Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said after eurozone finance ministers discussed the next steps after the Greek referendum.
“The Greek government will send the Eurogroup a new request letter for ESM (European Stability Mechanism, the EU’s bailout fund) support and as soon as that comes in, hopefully tomorrow morning, we will have another conference call for the Eurogroup,” Dijsselbloem told reporters Tuesday.
Greece in the meantime had “submitted no new proposal today,” he said, shortly before eurozone leaders were meant to review hoped-for progress by the finance ministers in finding a solution to the Greek debt crisis.
Newly appointed Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos instead briefed the meeting, after voters Sunday overwhelmingly rejected creditor demands for more austerity measures in exchange for fresh bailout funding.
Last week, Greece missed a payment to the International Monetary Fund and its EU-IMF bailout programme expired without a replacement accord, leaving the country out of funds and on the brink of being forced out of the euro single currency area.
Dijsselbloem said that once the Greek ESM request letter was received, he would ask the creditors to look at Athens’ “financial needs and debt sustainability”.
“Then the institutions will come to us and tell us whether we can formally begin the negotiations,” he said, warning that time was running short for a deal.
“All this has to be done in a matter of days and we have very little time.”