Sunday 19 November 2017

Irish Government still believes bailout extension needed

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (R) shakes hands with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaueble (L) at an extraordinary euro zone Finance Ministers meeting to discuss Athens' plans to reverse austerity measures agreed as part of its bailout, in Brussels February 11, 2015.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (R) shakes hands with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaueble (L) at an extraordinary euro zone Finance Ministers meeting to discuss Athens' plans to reverse austerity measures agreed as part of its bailout, in Brussels February 11, 2015.
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Finance Minister Michael Noonan is travelling to Brussels today for a crucial meeting of Eurozone finance ministers as Greece looks to avoid running out of cash.

The Irish Government's position is that some type of extension of the Greek bailout programme is required, a Government source said last night.

The source said the Government wants to come to a "constructive" conclusion which will see Greece remain in the Eurozone.

Before finance ministers meet, Mr Noonan will be briefed on the outcome of a meeting of Eurozone officials which analysed the proposals in detail yesterday.

Yesterday Mr Noonan said it appeared progress had been made when news emerged of a formal Greek request for what is effectively an extension of its bailout agreement. The Greek bailout expires next week.

"If a resolution can be found tomorrow, the first step will be that the Greek government and the Greek banks will remain solvent," Mr Noonan said.

Yesterday a letter sent by Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis to the president of the Eurozone finance ministers' group said Greece would use a six-month extension to agree "mutually acceptable" policies that would stabilise the country's finances.

A spokesman for German Finance minister Wolfgang Schaueble said the request did not go far enough, but talks between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared to leave the door open for a deal based on the letter.

Irish Independent

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