Greece bailout deadline: ECB raises pressure for agreement but extends new loans to Greek banks

Sarah Spickernell
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European leaders want Greece to agree to a bailout extension (Source: Getty)

Greek banks have been given an extra €5bn (£3.7bn) worth of emergency loans by the European Central Bank (ECB).

The decision was made during a phone call between members of the bank's governing council earlier today, and will take the country's emergency funding up from €60bn (£44bn) to €65bn (£48bn).
"It is key that the banks benefiting from emergency liquidity assistance remain solvent," ECB executive board member Peter Praet told the Financial Times.
While the decision will provide some short-term relief to the country's struggling banks, more pressure has been placed on Greece to accept an extension of its €240bn (£178bn) bailout - the 28 February deadline for the current programme is approaching fast, and European leaders have been reluctant to agree to any other arrangement.
During the call, the council expressed that it didn't know how much longer it would be able to keep Greek banks afloat, according to Reuters. A further review is due to be held by the ECB on 18 February.

Little success for Syriza

Last month, radical left-wing party Syriza was voted in as the new governing party of Greece, following pledges to renegotiate the country's bailout agreement and bring the country out of austerity.
So far the plan hasn't gone according to plan, however – Eurozone leaders have not budged from their positions, saying a write-off of Greece's debt or further loans would not be options.
German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble responded to the new demands by saying that if Greece was not willing to request and extension of the current bailout, then “that's it”. Greece wants to stay in the Eurozone but there are fears that it will have no choice but to leave if no agreement can be reached.

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