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Greece close to minimum agreement deal with creditors, says deputy PM - by Nick Fletcher and Helena Smith

Greece could seal a deal with its creditors in early May, its deputy prime minister said on Wednesday, as the country prepared a new list of reforms and the European Central Bank provided more support to its beleaguered banks.

But Yannis Dragasakis warned it was likely to be only a “minimum agreement” to unlock the delayed funds Greece needed to avoid default. He said: “Now we are going to a minimum agreement with actions that can be taken immediately. But [in the long-term] not just any solution will suffice. The solution has to be viable. After the interim agreement a long discussion about the debt, primary surpluses, investment and growth will follow.”

A eurozone official told Reuters time was running out to reach a deal about releasing the emergency funds, which amount to €7.2bn (£5.2bn), since the country needed to begin negotiating a third bailout agreement before the current programme runs out at the end of June. Otherwise it faced the prospect of default or having to leave the eurozone. He said: “We are not talking about weeks any more, we are talking about days.”

If the latest Greek proposals were approved, eurozone finance ministers could endorse the deal at their next meeting on 11 May. Greece’s creditors – the European Union, ECB and the International Monetary Fund – are demanding economic reforms in exchange for more bailout cash.

Read more: Greece close to minimum agreement deal with creditors, says deputy PM | World news | The Guardian

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