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Greece plan still "lacks substance"

Thursday, April 02, 2015 - 02:18

Greece is told its reforms still need more work, delaying a deal to unlock a multi-billion euro cash handout. As time runs out, is Athens edging closer to an accidental exit from the euro zone? Kirsty Basset reports.

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Anarchists invade Greece's parliament, demanding reform in the country's prisons. The opposition party says they were able to get so close to parliament because ruling party Syriza has allowed a lax security atmosphere to flourish, since coming to power. They're not the only ones accusing the government of a laidback approach. Greece has submitted an updated list of reforms to EU/IMF lenders, which was obtained by the FT. In it, Greece promises to crack down on tax fraud and tackle privatisations on a case by case basis. But EU officials say the new reform list needs more work, as it lacks detail and substance. This comes as no surprise to IG's Alistair McCaig. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG MARKET STRATEGIST ALASTAIR MCCAIG SAYING: "One of the thing's that's become obvious as time has progressed here is the lack of experience that Syriza have in regards to the international political scene and in dealing with and negotiating with other European politicians and governments." Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis says it's about Greece standing its ground, telling parliament the negotiations could have ended weeks ago if they'd agreed to unpopular measures like cutting pensions and boosting taxes. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK FINANCE MINISTER, YANIS VAROUFAKIS, SAYING: "Are you telling me that we are wrong because we did not agree to all those things that the Greek people elected us not to sign? Those things that sent you into opposition because you had promised to do them?" The government was elected on an anti-austerity agenda, and is trying to balance the demands of both international lenders and the Greek people. With just weeks until the country runs out of money, a default is seen as an increasingly realistic outcome. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG MARKET STRATEGIST ALASTAIR MCCAIG SAYING: "The willingness of the euro zone to see one if its members part company is increasingly higher than it was." But it won't be because that's what anyone wants, says Justin Urquhart Stewart from Seven Investment Management. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JUSTIN URQUHART STEWART, SEVEN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, SAYING: "Is Greece going to become the next Lehmans if it fell out? And the answer is we really don't know at the moment. I would suggest it's probably unlikely, I don't think we're going to see that, because it's not in anyone's interests to do so." Negotiations are set to continue next week.

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Greece plan still "lacks substance"

Thursday, April 02, 2015 - 02:18