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End of Greece? Eurogroup rejects Greek bailout extension request

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Brussels: Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Saturday said 18 Eurogroup financial ministers rejected Greece’s request for an extension so that it could put the creditors’ proposals to a popular vote on July 5.

“The current financial assistance arrangement with Greece would expire on June 30,” said an official statement released by the Eurogroup after an emergency financial ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

“I am regretful to say that the programme will expire on Tuesday night,” Dijsselbloem confirmed at a press conference after the meeting. “That is the latest date we could reach an agreement.”

The creditors offered joint proposals to the Greek side on Thursday “given the prolonged deadlock in negotiations and the urgency of the situation”.

“Regrettably, despite efforts at all levels and full support of the Eurogroup, this proposal has been rejected by the Greek authorities who broke off the programme negotiations on the 26 June unilaterally,” the statement said.

Commenting on the Greek government’s response, Dijsselbloem said other members held the opinion that “today no further negotiations or talks were possible”.

Earlier in the day, the Greek government announced a suggestion to put creditors’ Thursday proposal to a popular vote on Sunday, July 5. The Greek parliament’s vote on the suggestion is under way in Athens.

The group decided to immediately reconvene a second meeting without Greek Financial Minister Yanis Varoufakis, to “discuss the consequence from the political conclusion that drew in the first meeting”.

Dijsselbloem also stressed that “the (negotiating) process was not finished”.

“The euro area authorities stand ready to do whatever was necessary to ensure financial stability of the euro area,” the statement said.

(IANS)

 

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Greeks vote in second general election

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thebalticbriefing.com

Athens: On Sunday, Greeks voted in the second general election this year to elect a new government that will implement the three year bailout agreed in the summer with international creditors.

About 9.8 million citizens of 18 years and above were registered to vote in 19,457 polling stations nationwide. The number of new voters is 108,464.

The two front-runners are former prime minister and leader of the radical-left SYRIZA party Alexis Tsipras and Evangelos Meimarakis of the conservative New Democracy party.

Alexis_Tsipras

Tsipras asked weary Greek voters to deliver a “fighting government” capable of “moving forward with difficult reforms” as he cast his ballot in the country’s closely-fought election, the fifth in six years.

“The Greek people will take their future into their own hands… and seal the transition to a new era,” Tsipras said in the working-class Athens district Kypseli. “I’m confident.”

Meimarakis after casting his ballot: “I believe we will have a better future for all Greeks regardless of which party they vote for.

“I hope the result will vindicate Greek people’s sacrifices,” President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said.

Stavros Theodorakis, head of the centrist small Potami party, and Fofi Gennimata, leader of the PASOK socialist party, stressed the need for consensus after the elections.

(IANS)

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