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Greece, creditors on course to reach third bailout accord

Greece, creditors on course to reach third bailout accord - Greek leaders and its international creditors on Sunday resumed talks in Athens with hope that both sides will finalize the terms of a third bailout in the coming days.

Greece finance and economy ministers, Euclid Tsakalotos and Giorgos Stathakis, started talks with the officials from ECB, the International Monetary Fund and the European Stability Mechanism at 3:00 pm (1200 GMT) on Sunday.

The aim is to finalise the draft of a crucial new bailout of up to 86 billion euros ($94 billion) in exchange for further reforms before Athens repay 3.4 billion euros to the European Central Bank on August 20.

Talking to reporters before the start of negotiations on Saturday, Stathakis said the talks were "in the final stretch".

On Sunday, pro-government newspaper Avgi said: "All signs are pointing to an agreement... possibly being reached even today."

It is expected that Greek lawmakers could vote on the accord this week, or that the new bailout terms could be approved by eurozone finance ministers first on Friday, after which parliament would vote on it on August 18.

A leading German newspaper reported on Sunday that it was likely that Greek leaders would approve a 27-page draft memorandum of reform commitments this weekend in order to implement the new bailout before the August 20 repayment deadline.

With its lenders insisting on "very good cooperation" from Athens, both sides are "working flat out" and "intense talks with Greece will continue over the weekend," an EU source said.

Both sides need to reach an agreement by August 17 to prevent Athens from seeking a bridging loan to avoid another loan default.