As Greece hurtles towards a possible debt default, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis says Athens will not sign up to a new bailout programme to secure more funds.
“No way, no way. We didn’t get elected for this,” he told a media pack in Athens.
Talks aimed at striking a cash-for-reforms deal have hit stalemate, with the IMF quitting negotiations in Brussels, citing major differences.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker says the discussions will resume, but has put the ball firmly in Greece’s court to come up with an acceptable offer.
“These people are driving us straight to ruin. There is no way they can come to an agreement, the debt is so massive that unfortunately it can’t be covered. Everyone knows it,” said one man in Athens.
Another commented: “Every week, we think about whether something will happen on Friday and whether we should take our money out of the bank, whether something like what happened in Cyprus will occur. And on Monday all of the banks will be closed.
“Unfortunately, I feel very pessimistic, that’s the feeling they inspire in people.”
Greece’s top share index has suffered losses amid the renewed uncertainty.
Athens needs a deal to unlock aid or loosen curbs on how much it can borrow in short-term debt – before a 1.6 billion euro repayment to the IMF becomes due later this month.
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