Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras leaves after a meeting with French President Francois Hollande, right, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, France, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
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Greece's new leftist government appealed to the European Central Bank Wednesday to keep its banks afloat as it seeks to negotiate debt relief with its eurozone partners, but Germany rejected any rollback of agreed austerity policies.Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said after meeting ECB President Mario Draghi in Frankfurt that he believed Athens could count on central bank support during the short period it would take to conclude talks with international lenders.Greece wants that funding to continue because if the ECB were to halt it, Greek banks could collapse, forcing the country out of the eurozone.Tsipras, 40, said after talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that Greece respected European Union rules and would find a solution to its economic problems within the framework of EU law.Without the support of its creditors and the ECB, Greece would soon find itself back in an acute financial crisis.Varoufakis has so far said Greece will not extend the bailout program when it expires on Feb. 28 .Varoufakis has since struck a softer tone, saying Greece aims to swap its official loans for growth-indexed bonds and its ECB loans for perpetual interest-yielding bonds with no repayment date.
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