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Greece postpones request for extension of loan agreement to Thursday
Greece postponed the submission of a formal request for a six-month extension of the four-year bailout loan agreement from Wednesday to Thursday, Greek government sources said Wednesday.
"The content of the letter to be addressed to EU institutional partners was not yet finalized," government sources told the Greek news agency AMNA.
Stavros Theodorakis, leader of the centrist To Potami party confirmed the delay, speaking to media after a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
According to sources, the government intended to make a clear distinction between the loan agreement and the bailout program in its request for a bridge deal, since it was elected to power on a strictly anti-bailout and anti-austerity platform on Jan. 25.
The new Leftist-led government coalition has been at odds with euro zone partners during the past week over the way to move forward collaboratively after the current program expires on Feb. 28.
Without a deal and further aid by international lenders, Greece faces the risk of a cash crunch, default, and exit from the euro zone.
It was unclear whether the euro zone partners would accept the Greek request and hold a new emergency meeting of the Eurogroup on Friday, the deadline set by Greece's interlocutors after the inconclusive meeting of the body on Monday.
European officials such as German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble expressed in statements his clear dismissal of the distinction between the loan agreement and the bailout program, insisting on the implementation of commitments undertaken by previous governments for fiscal consolidation and structural reforms in return for the loans.
[Source: Xinhua, Athens, 18Feb15]
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