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Euro zone to give Portugal, Ireland more time to repay loans: Dijsselbloem

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 (Copyright Reuters 2013)

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 finalize that tomorrow," referring to the meeting of finance ministers on Friday in Dublin.

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

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; writing by Robin Emmott)