5th Mar 2024

Greece seeks bailout extension

  • Greek PM Alexis Tsipras (l) and German chancellor Angela Merkel (r). "When there is a will, there is a way," Merkel said before their meeting with France's Francois Hollande on Wednesday. (Photo: Bundeskanzlerei)

Greek leader Alexis Tsipras late Wednesday (10 June) discussed with French and German leaders the possibility of extending the country's current bailout programme and providing Greece with liquidity.

Greek officials said that Athens asked for an extension of the current bailout programme until March 2016.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • French president Francois Hollande (l), Greek PM Alexis Tsipras (r) and German chancellor Angela Merkel (far r) and (r) had their fourth trilateral meeting since March to broker a bailout deal (Photo: Présidence de la République)

Germany's Bild newspaper said on Thursday that the German government is opposed to a third bailout and would be ready for an extension of the current programme.

According to diplomatic sources, this extension would see the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the eurozone emergency mechanism, lend Greece money in order to repay bonds to the European Central Bank.

The ECB owns €27 billion of Greek debt.

An ESM loan would relieve Greece of the over €6 billion repayment due to the ECB this summer.

Without a lifeline to help Greece repay the ECB, a source told EUobserver, the country would run out of liquidity at the end of September.

Another financing solution - going with an eventual extension of the bailout - would be to unblock €10.9 billion of funds normally reserved for the recapitalisation of Greek banks.

A diplomatic source told this website experts at technical level will now have to assess the impact of these options.

"Everyone wants to find a solution," another diplomatic source said.

"When there is a will, there is a way," Merkel said on the doorstep, adding that "the goal is to keep Greece in the euro area."

It was unclear however whether the institutions involved in the bailout negotiations - the EU, the ECB and the International monetary fund (IMF) - would be ready to back such a solution.

An extension of the bailout as well as an ESM loan to Greece would also need to be approved by some national parliaments.

"We had a very friendly meeting and we decided to intensify discussions in order to solve remaining differences and move towards a solution which guarantees a return to a socially inclusive growth," Tsipras told reporters after the meeting.

The Greek PM said that "the leadership of the EU understands that we need a viable solution (…) with a sustainable debt".

The two-hour meeting, which ended after midnight, was held on the margins of the EU-Latin America summit in Brussels.

It was the fourth trilateral meeting between the Greek, German and French leaders since March. This time they came with advisers, which suggest talks were more detailed than at previous meetings.

The Greek government has so far resisted creditors' demands to cut pensions and raise VAT, especially on energy.

More progress could be made on Thursday, when Tsipras is to meet the president of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

Greece puts debt relief on the table

Greece is trying to introduce debt relief as part of the deal it wants to reach with its creditors as bailout talks enter a critical phase.

IMF puts Greece in tough spot

The IMF has withdrawn its negotiation team form the Greek bailout talks over "major differences in most key areas".

EU supply chain law fails, with 14 states failing to back it

Member states failed on Wednesday to agree to the EU's long-awaited Corporate Sustainable Due Diligence Directive, after 13 EU ambassadors declared abstention and one, Sweden, expressed opposition (there was no formal vote), EUobserver has learned.


The six-hour U-turn that saw the EU vote for austerity

The EU's own analysis has made it clear this is economic self-sabotage, and it's politically foolish three months from European elections where the far-right are predicted to increase support, writes the general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation.


Why are the banking lobby afraid of a digital euro?

Europeans deserve a digital euro that transcends the narrow interests of the banking lobby and embodies the promise of a fairer and more competitive monetary and financial landscape.

Latest News

  1. EU must overhaul Africa trade offer to parry China, warns MEP
  2. EU watchdog faults European Commission over Libya
  3. Hungary's Ukrainian refugees in two minds as relations sour
  4. The six-hour U-turn that saw the EU vote for austerity
  5. Defence, von der Leyen, women's rights, in focus This WEEK
  6. The farming lobby vs Europe's wolves
  7. EU socialists fight battle on two fronts in election campaign
  8. EU docks €32m in funding to UN Gaza agency pending audit

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us