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Greece seeks bailout extension

Greece is to ask the eurozone for an extension on its bailout despite talks collapsing in acrimony earlier this week.

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said earlier this week that an EU offer to extend the bailout to the country’s current €240bn (£178bn) bailout was “absurd” and “unacceptable”.

But government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis has now confirmed on Greece’s Antenna TV that Varoufakis would ask for a six-month extension to Greece’s current loan ahead of the bailout expiring on 28 February.

Sakellaridis said: “Let’s wait today for the request for an extension of the loan contract to be submitted by Finance Minister Varoufakis.

“All along deliberations are going on to find common ground, we want to believe that we are on a good path. We are coming to the table to find a solution.”

In doing so, Greece hopes to create time for re-negotiation its debts, and allow for loosening of austerity requirements placed on the country by eurozone members.

In a speech to the Greek parliament on Tuesday, prime minister Alexis Tsipras said Greece “won’t accept an ultimatum, but will negotiate as an equal partner.”

Tsipras, whose Syriza party was elected in January on an anti-austerity platform, said: “We are not taking even one step back from our basic promises to the Greek people, not one step back from our pre-election promises.”

The European Central Bank will meet today to decide whether to continue financing Greek banks.

Eurogroup of finance ministers chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Monday a deal needs to be reached in the coming days.

He said: “We can use this week, but that’s about it.

“There was a very strong opinion across the whole Eurogroup that the next step has to come from the Greek authorities.”

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  1. How can Greece possibly proclaim itself to be ” an equal partner” in these negotiations? Come to that, how can it even claim to be negotiating? All it’s said is Give us another €5Bn but we’re not prepared to accept the imposition of any conditions. Unless Germany says Oh, alright then, Merckel’s only option is to say No and Greece will then default on pretty well everything It’s a sort of Mexican stand off ~ a situation in which no one can emerge as a clear winner. A poor man’s Mutally Assured Destruction .

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