Portugal, Ireland Could Get 7-Year Bailout Extensions

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Euro zone finance ministers will probably agree on Friday to give Ireland and Portugal seven more years to repay loans from the European Union, a senior official said on Thursday.

"The intention is very positive," Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the chairman of the euro zone finance ministers, told a news conference. "I hope that we will be able to finalise that tomorrow," referring to the meeting of finance ministers on Friday in Dublin.

The extensions aim to ease the return to full market financing.