Eurogroup to Halt Talks with Greece Until After Bailout Referendum

EU | July 2, 2015, Thursday // 07:25|  views

A handout picture released by the Greek Prime Minister`s press office on 01 July 2015 of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressing the nation about the referendum on 05 July 2015, during a speech broadcasted from his office in Athens, Greece, 01 July

The Eurogroup on Wednesday said it was ending contact maintained with Greece on a daily basis until the referendum on a bailout proposal made to the country is held Sunday.

Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem is now adamant discussions over a new bailout could only take place "after and on the basis of the outcome" of the July 5 referendum, and sent out a letter to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to make his point.

Greek voters are to decide whether or not to support the reforms package put forward by international lenders, with billions of EUR to be unlocked for Athens if it accepts.

The proposal is not deemed to have expired, but EU officials say they are waiting for the outcome of the referendum.

On Tuesday Greece failed to pay a debt installment to the IMF, the first-ever instance of a developed nation to miss such a deadline.

Hours later it was unveiled that Tsipras had tabled a new set of proposals to Eurozone partners, along with a demand for a third bailout package spanning two years and amounting to EUR 29.1 B in aid from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The new list includes most demands lenders have placed so far, with several exceptions.

At the same time Tsipras urges voters to give the thumbs down on creditors' reform proposals, while EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday openly called for a "yes".

However, Athens has made a shift in its position over the past 24 hours, with Prime Minister Yanis Varoufakis insisting his government will strike a deal with lenders in the end.


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Tags: Eurozone, Eurogroup, Tsipras, Yanis Varoufakis, Alexis Tsipras, greece, Jean-Claude Juncker, Jeroen Dijsselbloem


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