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Greece govt wants loan deal by end of May
[ATHENS] Greece wants to reach a loan deal with its EU-IMF creditors by the end of May to resolve an acute cash shortage, the government said on Monday.
"A deal is required immediately, this is why we are talking about the end of May, to resolve these critical liquidity issues," government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis told reporters.
Greece's new radical Syriza-led government and its EU-IMF creditors have been stuck in a deadlock for four months over the reforms needed to release a final 7.2 billion euros (US$8.2 billion) in bailout funds.
The delay has led to concerns Athens is running critically short of cash and may soon end up defaulting, which could set off a messy exit from the euro.
Athens faces a hefty repayment schedule to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank in the coming months, and also needs to continue paying salaries and pensions.
Over the weekend, Greek newspapers reported that the country came close to not making a 750-million-euro debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund last week.
Around 1.5 billion euros are now due to the IMF in June, and then more than six billion euros must be paid to the European Central Bank (ECB) in July and August.
This year is Greece's "toughest in terms of bond maturities until 2030," Mr Sakellaridis said.