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Greece to table loan extension request: gov't spokesman
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will request a six-month extension of the bailout loan agreement on Wednesday, Greek government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis said in a statement to a local television channel.
"The government does not want to create impasses but to find a solution ... The failure of the bailout program has been proved," Sakellaridis said, referring to the distinction Athens made between the wider framework of the loan agreements signed with international creditors since 2010 and the precise measures of the bailout program which expire in late February.
By submitting a request, which will be based on a document EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici presented to Varoufakis on Monday, the new Greek government seeks a way out of the deadlock of the past week in talks with euro zone creditors regarding the post-bailout collaboration, according to Sakellaridis.
Euro zone partners asked Athens to stick to the painful austerity and reform drive launched five years ago in return for rescue loans to avoid default and exit from the European common currency zone.
The newly elected Left-led government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rejected the bailout program as catastrophic for the Greek economy and society, and pushed for a bridging deal to the autumn so that the two sides could seek ways to make the Greek sovereign debt load viable and resolve the crisis.
Asked whether Athens has an alternative plan in case the extension request is rejected and the upcoming Friday's deadline set by euro group expires with no deal, Sakellaridis said that the government "hopes it won't reach that point and is working on this scenario."
[Source: Xinhua, Athens, 18Feb15]
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