BRUSSELS: Greece asked for a fresh two-year rescue deal with the European Union on Tuesday in a final roll of the dice just hours before its current bailout expires and it misses a critical IMF payment. The eleventh-hour appeal came as 20,000 pro-bailout supporters took to the streets of Athens, where banks have been shut by the spiralling debt crisis and people are queueing for cash.
ATHENS/BRUSSELS — Greece formally requested a six-month extension to its euro zone loan agreement on Thursday, offering major concessions as it raced to avoid running out of cash within weeks and overcome resistance from skeptical partners led by Germany.
With its EU/IMF bailout program due to expire in little more than a week, the government of leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urgently needs to secure a financial lifeline to keep the country afloat beyond late March.
Eurozone finance ministers will not set any deadline for Greece to come up with reforms to get more funding because such time limits lead to brinkmanship in negotiations, a senior eurozone official said on Tuesday.
Greece, which is quickly running out of cash, pledged to its eurozone partners in February that by the end of April it would agree with creditors on a comprehensive list of reforms to get 7.2 billion euros remaining from its bailout.
A small dose of reality has set in for a group of European central bankers: Euro Officials Begin to Weigh Greek Exit as Euro Weakens.
Greece’s possible exit from the euro moved to the center of Europe’s financial-crisis debate, rattling markets as authorities in Athens struggled to form a government.
Italy is likely to need an EU rescue within six months as the country slides into deeper economic crisis and a credit crunch spreads to large companies, a top Italian bank has warned privately.
Mediobanca, Italy’s second biggest bank, said its “index of solvency risk” for Italy was already flashing warning signs as the worldwide bond rout continued into a second week, pushing up borrowing costs.
BRUSSELS – The European Union reached a landmark deal on Thursday to make the European Central Bank the bloc’s top banking supervisor, giving EU leaders greater confidence that they are gaining the upper hand over the eurozone’s debt crisis.
EU finance ministers forged a deal on the single supervisor in the early hours of Thursday after marathon talks. Leaders will give their stamp of approval at a summit starting later in the day, their last of 2012, and also discuss closer fiscal ties for their troubled currency area.
Eurozone finance ministers will discuss Ireland's debt crisis on Tuesday, a day after Dublin said it was in "official" talks with the EU but denied the negotiations involved a financial rescue package. Ireland says only its banks are struggling.