19:47 GMT +322 July 2018
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    Greece Digs Heels on Bailout Terms as Eurozone Exit Looms

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    Greece is facing a major banking crisis after a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers on Thursday failed to agree with Athens the terms of a proposed reform program, giving the country until June 30 to accept them or leave the Eurozone.

    Greece risks becoming the first Eurozone country to default on its foreign debt obligations if it misses the June 30 debt payment to the IMF and to the European Central Bank in July and August, analysts warned.

    “We would hate to have Greece exit the Eurozone, but if this can’t be avoided, we are prepared for any options,” Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters after the meeting.

    Meanwhile, a source close to the EU leadership said that the European Commission was not working on any scenarios of a Greek exit.

    Athens now has less than two weeks to find a way out of the impasse before it faces a 1.6 billion euro repayment due to the International Monetary Fund, potentially leaving it out of cash, unable to borrow and dangling on the edge of the currency area.

    The European Commission said it would only resume mediation efforts if Greece put forward new proposals, while the Greek government spokesman said Athens was sticking to its rejection of wage and pension cuts and higher taxes on basic goods.

    Much depends now on the political decision the Eurozone leaders may take during their emergency meeting on Monday.

    Related:

    Greece Likely to Default Despite Germany’s Aim to Save Eurozone
    Greece Plans to Stay in Eurozone, Reignite Economic Growth – Minister
    Tags:
    European Union, International Monetary Fund, bailout program, Grexit, European Commission, Jeroen Dijsselbloem
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