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Greece to extend bailout

Greece will have to ask for an extension on its bailout programme before parliaments in Eurozone nations close for Christmas because a new credit line won't be ready in time, a senior Eurozone official said yesterday.

Greece wants to switch back to market financing from the new year but disagreement over its funding needs means that the Eurozone cannot sign off on a back-up credit line.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said December 15 would be the cut-off date.