French President Francois Hollande, who told reporters the new Greek proposal is “serious and credible,” said leaders in Athens have shown their determination to remain in the Eurozone.
Many Greeks say they have suffered enough from years of spending and pension cuts – measures that have eliminated jobs and lowered the national standard of living.
The Greek government has demanded a debt restructuring from the International Monetary Fund since defaulting on a $1.8-billion loan payment to the IMF last week, when European finance ministers refused further financial support.
Greece’s economic crisis traces back to 2009, after disclosures that the former conservative government badly underreported the country’s debt, and at a time when the worldwide recession was worsening.
Greek banks are closed and withdrawals at cash machines are limited to just $67 (60 euros) a day. Many store shelves are bare and gas stations dry with no one knowing exactly what is going to happen next.
Greek voters rejected more austerity in a referendum last Sunday. While some Greeks say it is essential for the country to remain a part of Europe economically, “no” voters accused the EU creditors of humiliating and enslaving them.