FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Greece wants a break from the terms of its eurozone bailout loans, saying they’re suffocating its economy.
Germany, the biggest backer of two bailouts worth 240 billion euros (currently $271 billion), says Athens must pay what it owes.
The two sides, debtor and creditor, are dug in and posturing.
Yet analysts think a negotiated compromise over the coming weeks is possible — though far from certain. Greece could yet run out of money and leave the euro.
A Greek exit from the euro — or “Grexit” — would unleash more turmoil in Greece. Its effects on the eurozone and global economies are less clear. The eurozone has new safeguards to stabilize markets, but some experts think “Grexit” would disrupt Europe’s fragile economy and permanently undermine confidence in the 19-country currency union.
Time is pressing: Greece’s bailout program ends on Feb. 28. Rather than seek an extension, Athens wants to scrap the entire deal and agree on a new one by May.