Greece Putting Final Touches on Reforms to Extend Bailout

FILE - A Greek flag flies behind a statue to European unity outside the European Parliament in Brussels.Greek officials are putting the final touches on economic reform proposals that are due to their European creditors on Monday, as part of a deal to extend the Greek bailout for four months.

European finance ministers on Friday gave Greece the Monday deadline to present proposals that would convince the country’s creditors to grant the four-month extension.

The proposals are aimed at reviving the country’s faltering economy and cutting government spending in exchange for renewing the almost $300 billion in loans that are set to expire this week.

Nikos Pappas, minister of state in the new leftist Greek government, said on Sunday officials are working to make the government’s civil service «more effective and to combat tax evasion.»

But new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is facing some criticism over the bailout extension pact because he pledged as head of the Syriza party in January’s election campaign to end the loan program and the austerity measures imposed by the lenders. Tsipras says the four-month extension will give Greek officials more time to negotiate with the creditors while keeping the country in the 19-nation euro currency bloc.

But one of Syriza’s most respected members, 92-year-old World War II resistance hero Manolis Glezos, attacked the concessions the new government’s leaders made and said he is apologizing to the Greek people for «this illusion» that the austerity measures are ending.