Greece Likely to Request Loan Extension from Eurozone

Southeast Europe | February 18, 2015, Wednesday // 11:46|  views

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and head of SYRIZA party addresses his party lawmakers during a meeting of their parliamentary group at the Parliament in Athens, Greece, 17 February 2015. Photo: EPA

Greece is likely to submit on Wednesday a request to the Eurogroup for a six-month extension of its loan agreement with the troika of international creditors.

Athens will request an extension of its loan agreement rather than its programme, which could lead to complications, daily Kathimerini reports.

The loan would not be an extension of the existing bailout agreement, which includes strict austerity measures, but rather a bridging loan until a more permanent and acceptable solution is found.
Greece has readiness to negotiate other measures, but is not willing to adopt the terms of the existing bailout, which it rejected at the meeting of the Eurogroup on Monday.

The request is to be sent to the President of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is to decide whether this necessitates a calling of an extraordinary meeting of Eurozone finance ministers.

The issue with requesting an extension of the agreement, but not the terms pertaining to it, is that this could create problems in parliaments, which have to approve the prolongation of the agreement.

After the meeting of Eurozone finance ministers on Monday, Dijsselbloem said that the existing program measures can not be cancelled without the approval of the troika of international creditors.

The Dutch Finance Minister added that the Eurozone might be open to discuss the replacement of the existing measures and called on Greece not to take any unilateral steps.

However it appeared that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras challenged this idea, as he stated on Tuesday that the government will propose legislation that is contrary to the lenders' wishes.

Tsipras announced that the bills which will be submitted to parliament will not include any austerity measures and the “toxic presence of the troika”.

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Tags: greece, loan, extension, Eurogroup, Eurozone, troika, international creditors, Alexis Tsipras, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, austerity, bailout


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