Greece Forwards New Reform Plan to EU

The Greek government sent a package of reform proposals to its euro zone creditors on Thursday in a race to win new funds to avert bankruptcy and will seek a parliamentary vote on Friday to endorse immediate actions.  In the latest proposals, Greece has asked for 53.5 billion euros ($59 billion) to help cover its debts until 2018, a review of primary surplus targets and “reprofiling” the country’s long-term debt.

In turn, Athens bowed to demands to phase out tax breaks for its islands — cash cows for the tourism industry — and to hike taxes on shipping companies.  The chairman of Eurogroup finance ministers confirmed receiving the documents but will not comment until they have been assessed by experts from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. U.S. stock futures jumped 1 percent in early Asian trade on the announced measures.

Greek lawmakers will be asked on Friday to authorize the leftist government to negotiate a list of “prior actions” it would take before any fresh aid funds are disbursed, a key step to convince skeptical lenders of its serious intent.  Leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spent the day with his cabinet drafting a last-ditch package of measures on which Greece’s survival in the euro zone hinges.