EUROZONE-GREECE/BAILOUT EXTENSION Opposition leader confirms Greece to request extension of 'loan...
- Title: EUROZONE-GREECE/BAILOUT EXTENSION Opposition leader confirms Greece to request extension of 'loan agreement', says time running out
- Date: 18th February 2015
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (FEBRUARY 18, 2015) (REUTERS) VENIZELOS LEAVING VENIZELOS GREETED BY REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PASOK PARTY LEADER, EVANGELOS VENIZELOS, SAYING: "We have to gain time that has been lost, but better late than never, and we have to proceed within the framework that has been carved out to do what is best for the country, but with of course tough substantial, conditional negotiations, just like we did." VARIOUS OF VENIZELOS LEAVING AND ENTERING HIS CAR
- Reuters ID: LVA2XJSE0Q51MC728K58IR2ZVV2M
- Location: Greece
- Country: Greece
- Duration: 00:00:44
- Topics: General
- Story Text: A Greek opposition leader confirmed on Wednesday (February 18) that Greece will submit a request to the euro zone to extend a "loan agreement".
The request will be made on Thursday, said Potami Party leader Stavros Theodorakis, after meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
"The prime minister gave me a detailed update of the government's intention to submit tomorrow a request for an extension to the loan agreement. At the same time he informed me of the reforms he intends to propose, some of these have been budgeted. The Potami Party supports the negotiation attempts of the government; we are at the side of the government in this national effort. I underlined to the prime minister that we don't have a lot of time and we must finish with the minor issues and get to the heart of the matter," Theodorakis told reporters.
Another opposition party leader Evangelos Venizelos of the socialist PASOK Party, echoed those sentiments, saying the government must make up for lost time.
"We have to gain time that has been lost, but better late than never, and we have to proceed within the framework that has been carved out to do what is best for the country, but with of course tough substantial, conditional negotiations, just like we did," said Venizelos, a former deputy prime minister in the previous government.
But EU paymaster Germany says no such deal is on offer and Athens must stick to the terms of its existing international bailout.
The move, confirmed by an official spokesman, is an attempt by the new leftist-led government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to keep a financial lifeline for an interim period while sidestepping tough austerity conditions in the EU/IMF programme.
An EU source said whether finance ministers of the 19-nation currency bloc, who rejected such ideas at a meeting on Monday, accept the request as a basis to resume negotiations will depend on how it is formulated.
With the current bailout deal with the euro zone due to expire on Feb. 28, Tsipras said talks were at a crucial stage and his demands for an end to austerity were winning support.
EU officials said intensive consultations were under way between Athens, the Eurogroup and the European Commission, with Italy and France also involved in the search for a compromise.
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