Greece has submitted its request for a rescue deal from Europe’s bailout fund.

The country submitted the request for a new support programme from the European Stability Mechanism this morning, said Michel Reijns, the spokesman for the eurozone’s top official Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

The government’s request is the first step in a process towards a new bailout for the debt-laden country.

Athens has to follow up the request with a detailed plan by the end of Thursday of how the government plans to reform its economy if it is to receive fresh bailout cash to stave off bankruptcy and a possible exit from the euro.

Greece has been effectively told it has to have a deal in place on Sunday when the leaders of the 28 EU nations meet in Brussels.

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