Greek PM confident of bailout deal

  • 13/08/2015
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (Reuters)
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (Reuters)

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says he is confident that international creditors will back a framework bailout deal now being scrutinised by EU states and set for a parliamentary vote in Athens.

"I am and remain confident that we will succeed in reaching a deal and loan support (from the European Stability Mechanism) ... that will end economic uncertainty," Tsipras said on Wednesday, adding that certain EU states had a "hidden plan to reshape the eurozone using Greece as the excuse" that would fail.

"Greece will not give them the excuse," the 41-year-old premier said in an apparent swipe at Germany, which on Wednesday said it needed more time to comb through the 400-page text setting out the fiscal and other policy measures Greece must take in exchange for the lifeline.

Greece and its creditors are under pressure to finalise the deal by next Thursday when Athens must repay some 3.4 billion euros ($A5.14 billion) to the European Central Bank.

A Greek government source said Tsipras had requested an emergency session of parliament for Thursday - with all politicians required to attend - for a crucial vote on ratifying the deal.

Eurozone finance ministers will then meet Friday to give their verdict on the deal, the spokesman for Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on his Twitter account.

The German finance ministry said it had "formulated questions" about the draft agreement to be discussed at the Brussels meeting.

Separately, EU sources said Greece will tumble back into deep recession this year and the next.

The Greek economy, which crawled out of a six-year recession only in 2014, will shrink 2.3 per cent in 2015 and another 1.3 per cent in 2016, the sources said.

Growth should then return, running at 2.7 per cent in 2017 and 3.1 per cent in 2018, they said.

Greece has repeatedly complained that the austerity measures demanded by its creditors - the EU, the ECB and the International Monetary Fund - in return for two previous bailouts have only hurt an economy that has contracted by a quarter since the crisis broke.

The latest rescue package calls for a gas market overhaul, ends most early retirement schemes, eliminates fuel price benefits for farmers and raises some taxes, among other measures.

The government said Greek banks - which were forced to shut down for three weeks as panicked customers withdrew billions of euros, fearing for the safety of their deposits - would immediately receive 10 billion euros from the package, and will be fully recapitalised by the end of the year.