Emergency summit called as Greek deadline looms

Lauren Fedor
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Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis says the Eurozone is close to an “accident”
Eurozone leaders will hold an emergency summit on Monday in a last-ditch attempt to stop Greece from defaulting on its debts.

The summit was announced late last night, after finance ministers from the 19-nation currency bloc failed to make any breakthrough on a cash-for-reforms agreement at Eurogroup talks in Luxembourg.

“Too little progress has been made,”  Jeroen Dijsselbloem, chairman of the Eurogroup, said after the meeting, adding, “No agreement is in sight.”

Ministers sent a strong signal that it is up to Greece to make new proposals, Dijsselbloem said, adding that “the ball is clearly in the Greek court.”

Less than two weeks remain until Greece is due to make a major debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Greece needs to pay the IMF €1.6bn (£1.15bn) by the end of June, but Greek officials say the country cannot afford it.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde has warned that Greece will default if it does not make the payment, saying yesterday that “there will be no period of grace.”

“I have a term of June 30. If it’s not paid by July 1, it’s not paid,” Lagarde told reporters in Luxembourg.

Lagarde added that further dialogue was needed “with adults in the room.”

Meanwhile, Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis accused the Eurozone of being dangerously close to accepting an “accident,” and criticised other ministers who, he said, did not want to discuss his proposal to set up an automatic brake on the country’s public deficit.

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