Euro zone finance ministers have welcomed new Greek proposals for a cash-for-reform deal. But as Sonia Legg reports they say they require detailed study and it will take several days to determine whether they can lead to an agreement to avert a default.
They've been weighing their options in Athens. The Greek government has finally offered some concessions to its creditors in a bid to secure an aid-for-reform deal. Exactly what they are isn't yet clear. But the Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said they were "a positive step in the process". (SOUNDBITE)(English) EUROGROUP CHAIRMAN, JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, SAYING: "A general opinion of the institutions was that it is broad and comprehensive, but they really need to look at the specifics to see if it adds up in fiscal terms, whether the reforms are comprehensive enough for the economic recovery to take off again." His assessment came after a meeting of euro zone finance ministers. It was being followed by a full leaders meeting. Ahead of it several leaders warned not to expect too much - more days of discussions were needed, said EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici. (SOUNDBITE)(French) EU COMMISSIONER FOR ECONOMIC AND MONETARY AFFAIRS, PIERRE MOSCOVICI, SAYING: "This is a solid and finally a broad basis but work still needs to be done. We are looking for an agreement but the agreement is not there yet." Bank withdrawals have continued in Greece. And the ECB has again raised the ceiling on emergency liquidity for Greek banks. But taxes and pensions remain the key sticking point, says Jeremy Batstone-Carr from Charles Stanley. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Batstone-Carr, Chief Strategist, Charles Stanley, saying: "Some reports suggest that Greece is prepared to move on pensions, others suggest that it is not because this is a red line as far as Syriza is concerned and a key issue on which it was elected so I still believe pension is the pivotal point and there is still a lot to play for." But market optimism reached the United States - the Nasdaq Composite hitting a new record high. It followed on from Europe where shares were at their highest level in over a week.