Time runs out: Greece misses 1.6 billion-euro IMF repayment

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By Sarah Taylor  with Politico, Reuters
Time runs out: Greece misses 1.6 billion-euro IMF repayment

Time has run out for Greece. As midnight struck, the deadline for Athens to make a 1.6 billion euro loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund passed without any payment being received.

Officially, the country is now in arrears and risks a Grexit from the euro.

The Greek government called an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis.

It has asked the IMF to extend the bailout programme, but the Eurogroup of finance ministers says it has come too late.

“We’re beyond that point, it comes too late,” Jeroen Djisselbloem told Reuters news agency.

He told a press conference:

“Asking for a new programme is always possible. Greece is a member of the euro zone and it’s a member of the ESM and it can ask for financial support. That is quite a procedure to go through. The institutions will again have to do a lot of work in that. And in the meantime, as you know, the situation in Greece, in the Greek economy, in the Greek banks, has deteriorated even more, unfortunately. So it’s a very difficult path to consider.”

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has submitted a two-year aid proposal calling for parallel debt restructuring.

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Djisselbloem said Greece must change its stance towards its creditors before euro zone partners could make a decision.

He added that any new programme may come with even tougher conditions than before.

The Eurogroup is due to discuss the proposals in another conference call on Wednesday morning (July 1).

Greece is due to hold a referendum on Sunday (July 7) over whether voters should accept creditor terms for another bailout. However, some see it as a vote on whether to stay in the eurozone.