Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says he will seek a break in bailout debt payments as part of negotiations with creditors expected in the spring.

Tsipras on Thursday said the debt relief deal would likely involve "a significant extension of repayments" and "grace periods" that would allow Greece to emerge from years of recession and near-zero growth.

His left-wing government has dropped demands made last year for a partial cancellation of bailout debt.

Bailout inspectors resumed talks in Athens on Wednesday, pressing Athens for further cost-cutting reforms that include an overhaul of the country's pension system.

The European Union's financial affairs commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, said a debt relief deal could be ready by the summer of the current bailout review is successful.