Greece wants to delay its payments to the IMF by six months

Billy Ehrenberg
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The yield on two-year Greek government bonds soared on Monday, rising 300 basis points (Source: Getty)

Greece wants to delay paying the €1.55bn (£1.1bn) it owes the IMF by six months, according to a report in the German newspaper Bild.

This wouldn't be the first time Greece has looked to put off paying creditors - it had originally said it would bundle its debts to the IMF rather than pay in installments.

Markets again reacted to the uncertainty: the FTSE 100 was down 0.64 per cent at the time of writing, while Greece's stock market added to yesterday's almost five per cent slide with a 1.5 per cent drop during early trading.

Read more: Tsipras says Greece is "waiting for realism" as European stocks get the jitters after failed eleventh-hour talks

With new talks needed to avoid crisis, it's unlikely headway will be made on a diplomatic solution today. Greece's finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said he won't table a new reform proposal on Thursday, while EU leaders will weigh up an emergency summit next weekend if Thursday's meeting of Eurogroup ministers yields no progress.

The yield on two-year Greek government bonds soared on Monday, rising 300 basis points as markets seem to be preparing for the worst.

Both sides hardened their stances yesterday, prompting one German official to call for preparations for a state of emergency in the country.

German EU commissioner Guenther Oettinger said:

We should work out an emergency plan because Greece would fall into a state of emergency.

"Energy supplies, pay for police officials, medical supplies, pharmaceutical products and much more" needed to be safeguarded, according to Oettinger.

The fear from the markets is that neither side will back down from its "childish behavior". Naeem Aslam, an analyst, said:

This what we call a Greek saga, which has been on the front pages since the start of this year, but given the time is now actually running out with only option to throw the towel and agree on something which can bury this non sense talk once for all. But, it appears that both sides are determined to sacrifice what ever they have worked for, no matter what the consequences could be.

The Greek government has not abandoned hope of agreement, and said it is willing to talk if approached with new proposals.

Tsipras claimed perceived Greek stubbornness is not a case of ideology, but rather an issue of democracy. He added that Syriza’s mandate to end austerity was the reason his government will not cut pensions as the EU demands.

The EU, however is running out of patience and said Greece is getting close to facing an ultimatum. With questionable certainty, one Eurozone official added:

No more new proposals; take it or leave it time is upon us, I think. Or very close.

The Greek Prime Minister is due to travel to Russia on Thursday, where he will attend an economic meeting in St. Petersburg and meet Vladimir Putin.

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