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New Greek reform offer rejected

Tuesday, June 09, 2015 - 01:40

EU officials have dismissed new Greek promises of economic reform, saying the proposals were not enough to unlock funds that Athens urgently needs to avoid defaulting on its debts. As Sonia Legg reports, more than half of all Greeks now fear a Greek exit from the euro.

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Some Greeks see divine intervention as the only solution - few can blame them as bankruptcy gets another day closer. The government did submit an updated reform plan designed to unlock desperately needed funds. But EU officials quickly dismissed it. Athens residents have heard it all before. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT, MARIA GEORGIADOU, AGED 79, SAYING: "They must backtrack and let go of their pre-election pledges before we find ourselves faced with a bombshell." (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT, GEORGE THEOLOGOS, AGED 28, SAYING: "The possibility of exiting the euro zone is getting closer. The Europeans don't seem to want a solution to be found. They must back down a little bit so something can be done." Greeks may not be able to agree on who should back down first. But a new poll by the University of Macedonia for Greek television suggests just over half fear a so-called Grexit - with 16 per cent actually wanting one. Maybe it's time to ask the people to decide, says IG's Alastair McCaig (SOUNDBITE) (English), MARKET ANALYST, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING: "This seems to be another case where we are taking a minor step in the right direction and ultimately you feel that in order for the Greeks to finally make the changes required to appease those credit nations we might well see some sort of referendum inside Greece." Greece has displayed a more conciliatory tone in recent days. And the new proposals include a higher budget surplus target and increased value added tax rates - two previous no-no's. But there's no mention of cutting pensions - a key demand from lenders. And Greek newspapers certainly aren't convinced a deal is imminent. Their headlines perhaps sum up Greek angst - "Deal or rupture" says one. "Closer to empty ATMs" says another.

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New Greek reform offer rejected

Tuesday, June 09, 2015 - 01:40