Greece expected to request six-month extension of its loan agreement
According to new reports, Greece is expected to request a six-month extension of its loan agreement on February 18.
The loan would not be an extension of the current bailout agreement, which includes strict austerity measures, Greek government officials were quoted as saying.
On February 16, Greece rejected a plan to extend its 240 billion euros bailout describing it as “absurd”.
Without a deal, Greece is likely to run out of money.
The eurozone has given Greece until February 20 to decide if it wants to continue with the current bailout deal.
Greece wants to replace the bailout with a new loan that it says would give it time to find a permanent solution to the debt crisis.
The country’s current bailout expires on February 28. Any new agreement would need to be approved by national governments, so time is running out to reach a compromise.
Earlier Greek PM Alexis Tsipras called for a vote to scrap its austerity program on February 20, the same day as the eurozone deadline.
“We will not succumb to psychological blackmail,” Alexis Tsipras told parliament.
“We are not in a hurry and we will not compromise.”
Earlier, Germany’s Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said that Greece needed to make up its mind whether it wanted to extend the bailout program.
“None of my colleagues so far understands what Greece wants… whether Greece itself knows is not clear either,” he said.
Alexis Tsipras criticized Wolfgang Schaeuble, saying that the German finance minister had lost his cool on Monday.
“Not because he spoke up against the Greek government, because that is his right, but he spoke condescendingly towards the Greek people,” he said.
The Greek stock exchange closed down by 2.45%, having fallen by as much as 4% earlier in the day.
JP Morgan claimed over the weekend that €2 billion worth of deposits was flowing out of Greek banks each week and estimated that if that were to remain the case, they would run out of cash to use as collateral against new loans within 14 weeks.
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