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Greece Seeks Concessions in Later Loan Extension Request

Bloomberg — Greece will submit its request for a six-month loan extension to the euro-area Thursday, a day later than originally planned, according to a government official.

Greece and euro-area members have been at odds over the formula needed to extend the country’s 240 billion-euro ($274 billion) rescue beyond its end of February expiry. Failure to strike a compromise would leave Europe’s most indebted state without a financial backstop, and on course to default on some of its liabilities as early as next month.

“Markets should be reassured that there is agreement being prepared between Greece and the Eurogroup and other institutions involved in Greece’s bailout program,” Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission Vice President for the euro, told reporters in Brussels Wednesday. The commission is “now working and looking if there is a possibility to find common ground toward this extension of the current program.”

The Greek request comes as the Finance Ministry on Wednesday released documents outlining the government’s stance during two closed-door meetings of the currency bloc’s finance ministers. They show that Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Greece wants to maintain a budget surplus before interest payments equal to 1.5 percent of gross domestic product, less than half the target set in the country’s bailout program.

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