Update as of 7:10 a.m. EDT: Greece, in a request letter submitted Wednesday to the European Stability Mechanism, has applied for a three-year loan after a previous request for a two-year loan was rejected on June 30, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an official document.
Greece has also promised to implement tax reforms and pension measures, the Journal reported. However, as of now, there is no clarity on how much money the Greek government is asking for.
Addressing the European Parliament on Wednesday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that his government has sent a bailout request to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) -- the European Union (EU) agency that provides financial assistance to eurozone countries.
The exact contents of the request letter sent to the institution have not been revealed but tweets posted through Tsipras’ official Twitter account claimed that it includes, among other things, “a commitment to begin a sincere discussion regarding a solution to problem of sustainability of Greece’s public debt.” Critics slammed Tsipras' speech as being short on details even as far right-wing, euroskeptic politicians from France and the U.K. spoke up in favor.
— Alexis Tsipras (@tsipras_eu) July 8, 2015
According to the Telegraph, the letter could prove inadequate in convincing creditors to release more cash to Greece, which has so far defaulted on a $1.73 billion loan to the International Monetary Fund and owes another $3.8 billion to the European Central Bank by July 20.
“We demand an agreement with our neighbors, but one that gives us a sign that we are exiting from the crisis and there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Tsipras reportedly said. “An agreement which will bring about credible and necessary reforms.”
Greece is racing against time to meet a Sunday deadline to reach a deal that would avoid its exit from the eurozone. On Sunday, leaders of EU member states will convene to finalize the way forward based on the plan that Greek leaders are expected to present by Thursday.
In his speech, Tsipras reportedly said that he is “confident” that Greece would meet creditors’ demands before the Sunday deadline.
“Our proposals for financing our obligations and restructuring our debt will not burden European taxpayers,” he said.
However, he also accused the rest of Europe of using Greece as an “austerity laboratory,” adding: “Now, [we] must reach a viable & honest compromise, one that will avoid a historical break & goes against EU tradition.”
However, the lack of specific proposals from Tsipras elicited angry reactions from several European leaders, who accused Greece of treating the crisis like a “chicken and egg situation.”
“You are talking about reforms but we never see concrete proposals for reforms,” former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt reportedly said, reacting to Tsipras’ address to the parliament. “I'm angry because we are sleep walking to a Grexit.”
At the same time, Tsipras seemed to have found support among Europe’s right-wing leaders, including France's Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party.
“This is not just Greece we are talking about, the whole of the Mediterranean is in the wrong currency,” Farage reportedly said. “The continent is divided...there is a new Berlin wall and it's called the euro.”
A Wednesday teleconference to discuss the contents of the letter has reportedly been canceled. However, European markets reacted with cautious optimism over a potential deal between Greece and its creditors before the final deadline, the Associated Press reported.