Athens asks for loan agreement – not memorandum – extension

var_dijsA request for the six-month extension of Greece’s loan agreement with its European partners was submitted on Thursday morning in Brussels by the Greek government in order to secure a “protective umbrella for Greece’s financial system.”

The request clarified that the government asks for an extension of the loan agreement and not the entire previous bailout agreement (memorandum), which the ruling party has vowed to scrap.

The request has been received by Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem, as he himself announced via a tweet. Shortly after, the Dutch Finance Minister announced the convening of a Eurogroup meeting on Friday at 14:00 (GMT) in Brussels with the participation of Greek FinMin Yanis Varoufakis.

It should be noted that the Euroworking Group will convene in Brussels today to begin preparations for tomorrow’s crucial meeting, attended by finance ministers of the 19 countries of the Euro area, where the Greek request will be discussed.

Below are the four main points of the Greek request.

1. Finance Minister Y. Varoufakis submitted today, on behalf of the Greek government, a request for a six-month extension of the loan agreement between the country and its creditors. True to its commitments, the government has not asked for an extension of the memorandum.

2. The request raises the question of addressing the social cost of the crisis and the crucial social implications.

3. The request signals the government’s desire to proceed to a six-month interim agreement (“Bridge-deal”) and its commitment to achieve fiscal balance during that time.

4. The six-month extension will allow the government to offer a “breather” to the Greek society and continue its negotiations with the country’s creditors.

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