Greece
Eurozone ministers meet on Friday for critical talks ahead of Greek bailout expirationReuters

Greece has almost reached a deal with the eurozone over a new finance package, a senior Greek official said ahead of critical talks on Friday.

"We have covered four fifths of the distance, they also need to cover a fifth," a senior Greek official said ahead of Friday's talks, as cited by Reuters news agency.

Greece proposed a six-month loan extension to the Eurogroup on Thursday but it was swiftly rejected by Germany.

Regardless, eurozone finance ministers will meet today to discuss the proposal in a last-minute attempt to reach a deal as the Greek bailout programme reaches its expiration date.

Both Athens and Berlin have publicly hardened their positions in recent days, with the German finance ministry insisting that any extension of financial support to Greece must be agreed under the same terms that were agreed for its previous bailout.

Greece too has said it would not accept an extension of the current bailout under any circumstances, although some analysts believe that the Greek request for a short-term loan showed that Athens had softened its demands.

The bailout programme, agreed between Athens and the so-called troika of the EU, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, is hated throughout Greece and held responsible for bringing the country's economy to its knees.

A government spokesman told Greek television that the government had not abandoned its red lines, after the Greek proposal was leaked to the media and seemed to suggest that Greece had offered to work under the supervision of the hated troika, which has set and overseen austerity targets in Athens.