Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (left) and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (left) and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called for parliament to vote on social reform bills that go against the terms of the austerity programme.

?We will not succumb to psychological blackmail,? said Mr Tsipras.

On Monday night, Greece rejected a plan to extend its ?240bn (?178bn) bailout.

The Greek government called the proposal by the Eurogroup ?absurd? and ?unacceptable?.

Greece wants to replace the bailout with a new loan that it says would give it time to find a permanent solution to the debt crisis. But eurozone countries have rejected this and have given Greece until Friday to decide if it wants continue with the bailout programme.

?We are not in a hurry and we will not compromise,? Mr Tsipras told parliament.

The strong language comes despite comments by Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis after Monday night?s meeting, when he said he would do ?whatever it takes? to reach an agreement with the eurozone.

Earlier, Germany?s Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said that Greece needed to make up its mind whether it wanted to extend the bailout programme.

?None of my colleagues so far understands what Greece wants? whether Greece itself knows is not clear either,? he said.

Mr Tsipras took aim at Mr Schaeuble, saying that the German finance minister had lost his cool on Monday.

?Not because he spoke up against the Greek government, because that is his right, but he spoke condescendingly towards the Greek people,? he said.

Bank deposits

The Greek stock exchange closed down by 2.45%, having fallen by as much as 4% earlier in the day.

US investment bank JP Morgan claimed over the weekend that ?2bn worth of deposits was flowing out of Greek banks each week and estimated that if that were to remain the case, they would run out of cash to use as collateral against new loans within 14 weeks.

JP Morgan?s estimate is based on a calculation that a maximum of ?108bn of deposits is left in Greek banks.

The most up-to-date figures from the Greek central bank show deposits dropped 2.4% month-on-month in December to ?160.3bn from ?164.3bn, marking the third monthly fall in a row.


Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is also chairing the Eurogroup meetings of eurozone finance ministers, warned on Monday night there were just days left for talks.

Mr Dijsselbloem said it was now ?up to Greece? to decide if it wanted more funding or not.

Greece?s current bailout expires on 28 February. Any new agreement would need to be approved by national governments, so time is running out to reach a compromise.

Without a deal, Greece is likely to run out of money.

Greece has proposed a new bailout programme that involves a bridging loan to keep the country going for six months and help it repay ?7bn (?5.2bn) of maturing bonds.

The second part of the plan would see the county?s debt refinanced. Part of this might be through ?GDP bonds? ? bonds carrying an interest rate linked to economic growth.

Greece also wants to see a reduction in the primary surplus target ? the surplus the government must generate (excluding interest payments on debt) ? from 3% to 1.49% of GDP.

In Greece last week, two opinion polls indicated that 79% of Greeks supported the government?s policies, and 74% believed its negotiating strategy would succeed.



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