Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made a new offer to Eurozone leaders on late Sunday to break the deadlock on bailout negotiations with its international lenders, which has almost brought the country on the brink of financial collapse.
Tsipras’ move just came on the eve of Eurozone emergency meeting on Athens’ painful debt crisis on Monday when the Greek PM held a teleconference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
"The prime minister presented the three leaders Greece's proposal for a mutually beneficial agreement that will give a definitive solution and not a postponement of addressing the problem," Tsipras' office said in a statement on late Sunday.
Hollande confirmed the proposal during his visit to Milano although the European Union officials said they did not get a formal written copy of the proposal made by Athens.
It was not clear that whether Athens’ new proposal met the required criteria in terms of creditors’ expectations from Greece to cut additional spendings and tax hikes, but the last minute drive has only raised some optimism considering the fading hopes ahead of the Eurozone emergency meeting in Brussels on Monday.
Hollande also warned the parties about the calendar as the deadline looms against Greece where thousands of protesters have been demonstrating the austerity measures imposed by the EU and the IMF for months.
"There is no time to lose. Every day counts. Talks and negotiations must continue so that an agreement is reached," Hollande told a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
Greece is heavily indebted to the EU and the IMF, almost 240 billion Euros, since the eurozone economic crisis seriously hit the country’s economy from 2009 to the present.
Athens has been negotiating with the IMF and the ECB, over the past four months about the release of some 7.2 billion euros in aid.
But the parties failed to agree on long-standing debt negotiations last weekend, for which the EU blamed on Athens.
The EU said that Greece was able to offer anything new to secure the funding it needs to repay 1.6 billion euros to the IMF, a setback which could lead Athens’ debt default, hereby, threatens its future in the eurozone.
Greece’s left-wing Syriza government have so far not agreed on a number of issues, such as debt restructuring, a lower target for the primary surplus to take in more than it spends apart from debt interest payments, and a pledge to make no further cuts to pensions or wages.
Tsipras is scheduled to meet the Commission President Juncker, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and the IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Monday in the last ditch of the talks.
As the negotiations straddled mostly due to the upbeat tone of the Greek government, Greece’s already dying financial stability raised concerns and skepticism of the international crediting institutions.
Standard & Poor's decided to downgrade Athens’ credit rating one notch further into junk territory to triple-C from CCC+ early this month, as the international creditor stated that Greece is very likely to default in one year unless Athens seal a deal with its lenders.