Bailout talks intensify, Eurozone give Greece ultimatum

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Greece: The Eurozone on February 16 issued Greece an end-up ultimatum key to make the country’s debt stable. The creditor nations in the eurozone insisted that Greece request an extension to its bailout program- something Athens has vowed not to do, since it is eying to scrap the deal, which it views as harmful to its economy, as against a new one with easier terms that it prefers. The eurozone promised that in the event that Greece accepts an extension to buy time and eschew uncertainty, it would offer an immediate renegotiation of the bailout’s terms. Just as a meeting of the eurozone’s 19 finance ministers ended abruptly, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Chair of the gatherings, relayed his “sense of disappointment” over the two sides’ not having bridged their differences on how to proceed with the new Greek government’s objective to ease its bailout terms. Dijsselbloem said that another meeting on Friday was likely if Athens makes the request.

“We simply need more time and the best way for that at this point is extend the current program which would allow a number of months us to work on future arrangements,” he added. He asserted that such a move could be helpful in rebuilding trust between Greece and the eurozone. The Greek government has unwaveringly refused considering an extension of the bailout and insisted that it wants a “bridging program” to hold its finances. Greece’s new government had come to power last month, having won essentially on the promise of ridding the country of the current program. As per eurozone creditors, however, the current program should be extended to get more time to agree on a lasting solution. Dijsselbloem addressed a press conference saying, “My strong preference is and still is to get an extension of the program, and I think it is still feasible.” Greece had expressly rejected it , calling it an “irrational and unacceptable” demand from its euro partners.

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New Source: PIB

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