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Eurozone ministers gather for crucial Greece talks

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Staff writer ▼ | February 20, 2015
Eurozone finance ministers will meet in Brussels to decide whether to accept or reject Greece's bailout proposals.
Standoff   The bailout expires next Friday
For ministers of the 19-member currency union, it will be their third attempt in 10 days to resolve a standoff but the outcome of the meeting, which is due to start at 2pm GMT Friday, is clouded in uncertainty after Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schäeuble rejected a Greek compromise proposal.

It was reported that the German chancellor Angela Merkel was taking a more conciliatory stance. Greece's €240bn bailout orchestrated by the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund expires next Friday. Without an imminent deal the country faces the real prospect of running out of cash in early March because it is effectively locked out of the international lending markets.

For now, the European Central Bank has provided €3.3 billion ($3.7 billion) in emergency funds so that Greek banks can continue operations. But that amount is only sufficient to keep Greek banks afloat for one week; the Greek central bank had requested €10 billion ($11.4 billion).