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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Greece crisis: Athens poised on the verge of catastrophic debt default as bailout talks collapse


The world’s financial markets are facing up to the possibility that Greece could soon become the first country to crash out of Europe’s single currency. Talks between Athens and its eurozone creditors have collapsed in acrimony just days before a final deadline for Greece to unlock the €7.2bn (£5.2bn) in bailout funds it needs to avoid a catastrophic debt default.

The Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, accused the creditor powers of hidden “political motives” in their demands that Greece make further cuts to public pension payments in return for the financial aid. “We are shouldering the dignity of our people, as well as the hopes of the people of Europe,” Mr Tsipras said in a defiant statement. “We cannot ignore this responsibility. This is not a matter of ideological stubbornness. This is about democracy.”

G√ľnther Oettinger, a European Commissioner and member of the German Chancellor’s ruling Christian Demorcrat party, hit back –suggesting Greece could soon be designated an “emergency area” if it fails to pay its debts later this month.

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