Following a breakdown in talks with Eurozone finance ministers, Greece has come out empty-handed without the next batch of its multibillion-dollar bailout.
Greece Fails To Secure Next Installment of Bailout Funds
According to Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Eurogroup head, there was still a significant difference between what could have been done and what was expected to be done.
He however added that they were very close to cutting a deal.
Eurogroup will have its next meeting on June 15 but in the meanwhile, informal talks will continue.
The meeting with finance ministers held in Brussels was set to decide whether Greece had made adequate changes to unlock a €7.5bn (£6.4bn; $8.3bn) loan as well as debt relief.
Greece really needs the cash to avoid defaulting on its debt payable in July.
The country has had to undertake several economic reforms to be able to unlock the funds.
It is reported that Germany and the International Monetary Fund are not in agreement over how to help Greece to minimize its debt after the rescue initiative ends in the coming year.
IMF’s contribution to Greece’s most recent bailout depends on having this issue resolved.
Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said, “The feeling was that more work needed to be done to make it clear that the financial markets and the Greek people understood what would come at the end of the rescue programme in terms of debt relief.”
He added that he was nonetheless optimistic that a solid deal could be reach before the next Eurozone meeting.
Last week, the Greece parliament approved a new round of austerity measures as a preliminary to unlocking the next bailout installment.
Greece’s foreign creditors are seeing further tax and pension cuts.
Anti-austerity protestors gathered in central Athens while MPs voted.
Following the vote, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Greece had achieved its reform commitments and anticipated that lenders would agree to debt relief.
Speaking to reporters he posited, “It is their turn to meet their commitment just like we already did.”
He added, “We deserve and expect that the Eurogroup decision regarding debt relief will be in line with sacrifices made by the Greek people.”
Earlier this month, official figures from Eurostat showed that the country had sunk back into a recession for the first time since 2012.
In the first three months of 2017, Greece’s GDP fell 0.1% after contracting by 1.2% in the last quarter of 2016.