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Greece bailout deal by mid-August: EU's Moscovici

[BRUSSELS] Greece and its creditors aim to finalise a deal for the country's third bailout by mid-August in time for Athens to make a huge payment to the ECB, EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Wednesday.

"Talks on a new programme for Greece have just started and will lead us to the second fortnight of August," Mr Moscovici said at a news briefing in Brussels, later specifying the beginning of that period.

"That is the general calendar but we will see how things go," he said, adding that the "main thing" is to conclude the official Memorandum of Understanding - the document will bind Greece with its creditors.

Greece and its EU-IMF creditors are currently trying to hammer out the details of a bailout worth up to 86 billion euros that was agreed in principle by the eurozone's 19 leaders at a summit last week.

Both sides are under huge pressure to finalise the terms of the three-year rescue before August 20 when Greece owes the European Central Bank a loan repayment of 3.2 billion euros it cannot afford.

The leftist government in Athens on Tuesday also set August 20 as the deadline to finalise the negotiations.

The talks will detail the timeline for disbursements by the creditors over the next three years, in return for enacted reforms by Greece, which must also meet ambitious budget targets.

Later on Wednesday, Greece's embattled Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was to seek to push through Greek parliament a second set of reforms in return for the bailout, despite a rebellion by a fifth of the MPs from his radical-left Syriza party in voting on the first batch of reforms.

"I am confident that Greek Parliament will adopt tonight the two laws agreed at the Euro summit," Mr Moscovici said.