Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras needs European creditors to release a third tranche of cash from the latest bailout — which is effectively frozen — in order to repay €22.8 billion of debt due by the end of August.

The next meeting of eurozone finance ministers takes place on February 20 – the last Eurogroup gathering before national elections in the Netherlands and France.

Failure to strike a deal will make the €86 billion Greek bailout programme a subject of debate in the election campaigns.

Meanwhile, the negotiating positions of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank, Greece and its creditors led by Germany are further apart than at any point since the latest bailout — the third since 2010 — was agreed in 2015.

The IMF says Greek debt is unsustainable and Athens should be granted significant debt relief in return for more ambitious changes to its economy. Germany has categorically ruled out any debt relief, while Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras refuses demands for additional reforms. — equal to 2% of GDP or €3.6bn — without debt relief.

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