EU denies talks of extending aid to Greece

The European Commission said on Tuesday that there have been no talks on possible extension of the financial aid provided by the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to debt-ridden Greece.

“There is no discussion going on between the interested parties about such an eventuality,” commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj said at a daily press briefing. “All this suggests that Greece will be able to fully cover its external financial needs from the markets from 2012,” he added.

The EU and the IMF agreed in May to provide financial aid totaling 110 billion euros (152 billion U.S. dollars) in the next three years so as to prevent Greece from debt defaulting. Athens may ask for loans from the rescue scheme until 2012, but the IMF said on Sunday that if there is additional need, the scheme could be extended. Meanwhile, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said in a television interview on Monday that Athens was discussing prolonging the repayment period, but Germany immediately voiced its opposition.

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