Greece rushed to markets yesterday to raise vital cash to avoid bankruptcy as its international creditors further delayed payment of a €31.3bn (£25bn) loan instalment.
The reason for the delay was in part due to a wrangle between Europe and the International Monetary Fund over ways to address Greece's debt. Athens said it had sold enough treasury bills to repay most of the €5bn of bonds that mature on Friday, but worries mounted over when its overdue loan would be handed out.
"Grey smoke from Brussels" read the headline of leading daily Ta Nea, referring to the ambivalent outcome of Monday's meeting. Although officials from the EU and IMF suspended the aid, they also praised Greece's "resolve to implement and deliver a very ambitious programme" and agreed to extend its economic programme by two years in an effort to alleviate the hardship.
Officials from Syriza, the main opposition party, lambasted Monday's meeting. "The [agreed] extension won't offer a breather but rather will extend austerity and will be accompanied by harsher terms," the party said. "Even if the instalment is paid, no viable solution for [Greece's] growing debt will ever be presented if is not tackled at a European level."