Eurogroup sees 'little chance' of progress until after referendum, as Tsipras gets back on a war footing

President of the Eurogroup slams the door in Greece's face, saying there is "little chance" of any progress until after the referendum

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The Independent Online

Eurogroup ministers are adamant that no further discussions with Greece will be held until after Sunday's referendum, with the President of the Eurogroup saying he sees "little chance" of progress.

In an hour-long conference call, the Eurogroup, which is made up of the finance ministers of each Eurozone country, decided against further discussions after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gave a defiant address to the nation, telling Greeks to vote 'no' in the referendum and claiming Greece was being "blackmailed" by its creditors.

The upcoming referendum will ask Greeks whether they want to accept the deal offered to them by their creditors, which offers a bailout for Greece that is meant to keep its economy afloat, in exchange for a programme of public spending cuts by the Greek government.

Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the rejection, which commentators have said amounts to the eurozone 'slamming the door in Greece's face' is due to the political situation in Greece.

He said: "Given the political situation, the rejection of previous proposals, the referendum which will take place on Sunday, and the 'no advice' of the Greek government, we see no ground for further talks at this point."

 

"There will be no further talks in the coming days, neither at Eurogroup level nor between the Greek authorities and the institutions, on proposals or financial arrangements."

"We will simply wait now the outcome of the referendum on Sunday, and take into account the outcome of that referendum."

He said that he saw "little chance" of progress between the Eurozone and Greece until after the referendum.

The Greek government has been putting out mixed messages over negotiations. Last night's effort to make a new deal and even make concessions contrasts sharply with Tsipras's television address today.

Less than 24 hours after he wrote a letter asking for a bailout in exchange for accepting many of his creditors' terms, he appeared on television urging the public to vote 'No', calling such a vote a "decisive step towards a better agreement."

After failing to pay the IMF €1.6 billion in loan repayments last night, Greece defaulted, becoming the first developed country ever to do so in the IMF's history.

Meanwhile, limits on cash withdrawal in Greece aimed at preventing citizens from emptying the banks mean that the crisis is biting for ordinary Greeks, with banknote supplies reportedly running low and people limited to €60 a day.

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