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Greece moves closer to a deal

The government in Athens has given way on key proposals, reviving hopes of a deal between Greece and its creditors. 

The Greek government has inched closer to a deal that could prevent Greece from a default and an exit from the single European currency after the ruling party, Syriza, put forward proposals to raise VAT and cut the country’s pensions bill.

In addition, the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, has pledged to achieve budget surpluses of one percent this year, two per cent next year and three per cent in 2017.

Corporation tax will also rise, to 29 per cent, while a “solidarity supplement” on the rate of income tax will also rise, bringing in an extra €220m a year.

Tsipras’ concessions increase the chance that Greece’s creditors and the European Union will agree to release further bailout funds, allowing the government in Athens to make the £1.6bn payout it needs to make to the IMF by the end of the month.

Eurozone finance ministers will meet today to discuss whether the Greek deal is acceptable and if the numbers add up.

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Could Jeremy Corbyn still be excluded from the leadership race? The High Court will rule today

Labour donor Michael Foster has applied for a judgement. 

If you thought Labour's National Executive Committee's decision to let Jeremy Corbyn automatically run again for leader was the end of it, think again. 

Today, the High Court will decide whether the NEC made the right judgement - or if Corbyn should have been forced to seek nominations from 51 MPs, which would effectively block him from the ballot.

The legal challenge is brought by Michael Foster, a Labour donor and former parliamentary candidate. Corbyn is listed as one of the defendants.

Before the NEC decision, both Corbyn's team and the rebel MPs sought legal advice.

Foster has maintained he is simply seeking the views of experts. 

Nevertheless, he has clashed with Corbyn before. He heckled the Labour leader, whose party has been racked with anti-Semitism scandals, at a Labour Friends of Israel event in September 2015, where he demanded: "Say the word Israel."

But should the judge decide in favour of Foster, would the Labour leadership challenge really be over?

Dr Peter Catterall, a reader in history at Westminster University and a specialist in opposition studies, doesn't think so. He said: "The Labour party is a private institution, so unless they are actually breaking the law, it seems to me it is about how you interpret the rules of the party."

Corbyn's bid to be personally mentioned on the ballot paper was a smart move, he said, and the High Court's decision is unlikely to heal wounds.

 "You have to ask yourself, what is the point of doing this? What does success look like?" he said. "Will it simply reinforce the idea that Mr Corbyn is being made a martyr by people who are out to get him?"