Greece reportedly faces a steeper climb to reaching a bailout agreement. European finance ministers are reportedly drafting on Saturday a tougher alternative to the Athens-approved bailout plan. A European official at bailout talks in Brussels reportedly told the Associated Press that creditors want "more specific and binding commitments" from the Greek government that it will follow through on its reform promises.
Two sources told Greek newspaper Kathimerini that there was a consensus among the 18 other finance ministers at Saturday's talks that the Greek government needs to take further steps to assure them that it will honor any new debts. The Guardian also reported that a new written proposal was being worked on.
Eurozone finance ministers are meeting to discuss the Greek proposal in hopes of clearing the way for a third Greek rescue package. Without an agreement, Greece could be forced to exit the eurozone and lose the euro as currency. The Greek parliament approved bailout proposals Friday after Greek voters on Sunday, July 4, rejected those same terms set out by the country's trio of international creditors.
— Ian Traynor (@traynorbrussels) July 11, 2015
The same source reportedly told the Associated Press that the general feeling in the room was Greece had proposed "too little, too late" and that the additional measures to show its commitment don't "necessarily have to be austerity measures." The BBC reported that the measures could involve product and labor market reform. All of this would involve passing "more laws" this week "to show they're serious," according to the BBC.
EU official says #Greece needs to do more on product and labour market reform. And needs to pass more laws this wk to show they're serious.
— Chris Morris (@BBCChrisMorris) July 11, 2015
Earlier Saturday, the Greek government denied reports that a temporary exit from the eurozone had been proposed during the talks, reported the Associated Press. Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) newspaper reported that Greece's proposals had not gone far enough and that the German finance ministry had suggested a five-year exit from the eurozone as one of two alternative courses.
The Greek government denied that the German finance ministry proposed the "timeout." Theodoros Mihopoulos, who heads Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' office, tweeted that the FAS report "is completely denied," according to the AP.
The FAS report said that the German finance ministry also suggested a first option that involved Greece quickly improving its bailout proposals and transferring assets worth 50 billion euros ($56 billion) to pay down its debt.