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International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said "Greece is in a situation of acute crisis which needs to be addressed"/AFP

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Greece eyes midnight deadline for badly needed new bailout plan

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said "Greece is in a situation of acute crisis which needs to be addressed"/AFP

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said “Greece is in a situation of acute crisis which needs to be addressed”/AFP

BRUSSELS, Belgium, Jul 9 – Greece on Thursday was hurtling toward a midnight deadline to submit new bailout plans to unlock billions of euros of fresh aid desperately needed to keep its struggling economy afloat and stop it crashing out of the euro.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed on Wednesday to present “credible” plans to seal more emergency loans from his exasperated European creditors ahead of a summit of all 28 EU leaders on the debt crisis on Sunday.

“The Greek government will tomorrow file new concrete proposals, credible reforms, for a fair and viable solution,” Tsipras told lawmakers at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

The long-running debt crisis has reached fever pitch this week after Greeks decisively rejected the latest bailout offer from European Union leaders at a referendum on Sunday.

But the euphoria felt by some Greeks after the vote has quickly faded as capital controls have extended into their second week, limiting ATM withdrawals, and fears have grown over dwindling supplies of food and medicine.

Eurozone leaders lost patience at a crisis meeting in Brussels on Tuesday after Tsipras and his new finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, turned up without any concrete plans for ending the standoff.

But they struck a more upbeat tone on Wednesday after Athens promised to start pension and tax reforms demanded by creditors in return for a three-year loan to drag its financial system back from the brink of collapse.

In a formal letter to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) – the EU’s lender of last resort – Tsakalotos said Greece would “immediately implement a set of measures as early as the beginning of next week”.

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