Greece ‘optimistic’ on a loan deal without austerity measures
Greece, currently debt-stricken, is optimistic about his plan it aims to present to its international creditors for an extension of the bailout program for the country.
The formal request for a loan extension is due to be presented to Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the head of the Eurogroup, on Thursday.
“We are on the right path. I am optimistic it will end well tomorrow or the next day,” Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Wednesday.
The appeal includes an extension of Athens’ EUR 240-billion (USD 270-billion) international loan deal but without the harsh austerity measures imposed on the country.
Varoufakis said, “Our proposition will be written in such a way that it will cover both the demands of the Greek side and the head of the Eurogroup.”
In 2010, Greece enforced severe budget cuts in return for the bailout from the troika of lenders - the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB).
The newly elected government of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has so far refused to seek an extension to the debt-ridden country’s bailout program, which expires on February 28.
Greece is apparently seeking to extend the loan agreement without the commitments agreed to by its former center-right government. However, Germany has warned that any extension of financial aid to Greece beyond February 2015 “inextricably” depends on Athens implementing reforms that it has agreed to under the terms of the bailout deal.
In case no agreement is reached by February 28, eurozone governments could pressure the ECB to cut off emergency financing for Greek banks.
Greece’s economic crisis has deteriorated by the deep cuts to government spending and sent the unemployment rate above 25 percent.
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