European stocks feel the pressure after Greek minister says default is on the horizon and Spain's ruling party is punished at the polls

 
Billy Ehrenberg
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Spanish stocks are among those to have fallen (Source: Getty)

European stocks are feeling the latest shockwaves from Greece. Yesterday Greece’s interior minister said that the country wouldn’t be able to pay the €1.6bn (£1.1bn) it owes the IMF next month.

To add to the jitters, the ruling Popular Party (PP) in Spain was hammered at the polls, with smaller, ant-establishment parties doing well.

The fallout on the markets was widespread: the German Dax isn’t open, but the Greek ATG was trading 2.1 per cent lower, the French CAC 0.8 per cent lower and the Spanish Ibex 2.21 per cent lower.

Greece owes the IMF €1.6bn (£1.1bn) in June, but Nikos Voutsis said on Greek TV that Athens simply doesn’t have the money to pay:

The four instalments for the IMF in June are €1.6bn, this money will not be given and is not there to be given.

Greece’s position in the EU is strained, with the country still needing to secure a deal with both the EU and the IMF in order to receive €7.2bn in much-needed bailout funds. The EU wants Greece to propose and impose reforms before the money is handed over. Negotiations are ongoing.

Yesterday the Greek financial minister, Yanis Varoufakis, told the Andrew Marr show Athens had taken great strides towards a deal, showing that Voutsis’s line is not perhaps shared by the whole Syriza party.

There are theories that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras allows his minister to have their heads in interviews to leave him with more negotiating power during meetings with the country’s creditors.

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