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Greece Debt Talks: Eurogroup Meeting Ends with No Agreement


A meeting of European finance ministers in Luxembourg ended with no agreement on Greece’s debt.

The head of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, has said that Greece needs to seize a “last opportunity” to reach a deal with its creditors.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem called on Greece to submit “credible” proposals in the coming days.

To help tackle the crisis, an emergency summit of leaders from Eurozone nations has been called for June 22.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem highlighted that “very little time remains” as Greece’s current bailout program runs out this month.

“It is still possible to find an agreement and extend the current program before the end of the month, but the ball is clearly in the Greek court to seize that last opportunity,” he said.

The Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, said his nation had presented a “comprehensive” proposal and that disagreement only existed over spending equivalent to 0.5% of Greek GDP, which he says does not constitute a “dangerous impasse”.Greece debt talks Luxembourg

Yanis Varoufakis highlighted that Greece has already made a “gigantic adjustment” over the last five years and rejected any measures that would “jack-up” taxes and reduce benefits further.

He warned that negotiations were “dangerously close to a state of mind that accepts an accident”.

Greece has less than two weeks remaining to strike a deal with its creditors or face defaulting on an existing €1.6 billion loan repayment due to the IMF.

The country has already rolled a €300 million payment into those due on June 30.

If it fails to make the payment, Greece risks has to leave the eurozone and possibly also the EU.

The European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank (ECB) are unwilling to unlock bailout funds until Greece agrees to reforms.

They want Greece to implement a series of economic changes in areas such as pensions, VAT and on the budget surplus before releasing €7.2 billion of funds, which have been delayed since February.

Pressure was also raised on Greece today when the boss of the International Money Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, warned there was “no period of grace” for Greece over its impending debt repayment deadline.

Christine Lagarde said Greece would be in default on its loans from the IMF if it failed to make a €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) payment on June 30.