ECB offers Greece extra €3.3bn in emergency funding

ECB offers Greece extra €3.3bn in emergency funding

PanARMENIAN.Net - The European Central Bank has reportedly agreed to raise the emergency funding available to Greek banks to €68.3bn, according to BBC News.

The €3.3bn increase in the so-called Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) is critical for Greece's banks.

Depositors have been taking savings out of the country, depleting the banks' access to cash to lend.

However, the Greek central bank is said to have requested an additional €10bn of emergency funding. The ECB had already raised the amount available to Greek banks by €5bn to about €65bn last week.

The deal will give Athens breathing space to negotiate a loan deal with its European creditors.

Greece is asking the eurozone for a six-month extension of its European loan, a Greek government official said on Wednesday. It would not be a renewal of the current bailout agreement, which includes strict austerity measures.

On Monday night, Greece rejected a plan to extend its €240bn bailout, describing it as "absurd".

Greece is likely to run out of money if a deal is not reached before the end of February.

"We should extend the credit programme by a few months to have enough stability so that we can negotiate a new agreement between Greece and Europe," Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told Germany's ZDF.

Government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis confirmed that meant Varoufakis would be asking for a six-month extension to Greece's current loan.

Sakellaridis told Greece's Antenna TV: "Let's wait today for the request for an extension of the loan contract to be submitted by finance minister Varoufakis.

"All along deliberations are going on to find common ground, we want to believe that we are on a good path. We are coming to the table to find a solution."

Photo: UPI/ Giorgos Moutafis
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