Maryland News Desk

Greece asks for new bailout — its third — at 11th hour

Greece asks for new bailout — its third — at 11th hour

Greece requested a third bailout from the eurozone Tuesday in a last-ditch effort to secure a debt deal before its financial-crisis-era bailout expires and it defaults on a loan from the International Monetary Fund, one of its three international creditors. The two-year deal, if accepted, would allow Athens a new bailout from the eurozone’s European Stability Mechanism, its $560 billion rescue fund.

As European finance ministers met Tuesday to discuss the proposal, thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Athens, many of them in support of accepting new bailout terms. A No vote would lead to Greece leaving the European Union and abandoning the Euro currency. Tweets from a variety of European finance ministers who were on the conference call indicated that as expected there would be no extension to Greece’s bailout plan, and that the ministers could also be meeting Wednesday to resume discussions around the details of the new bailout terms.

The last-minute development comes as Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Tuesday that his country would not make a debt payment to the IMF by a midnight deadline, setting the stage for a showdown with its creditors ahead of a national referendum Sunday on its membership of the euro currency. But despite the eleventh-hour overture, an imminent resolution to the crisis isn’t expected. German chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly said there would be no decisions on a new Greek deal until that country’s vote Sunday. And Greek lawmakers have pointed out that once a referendum has been set there is no way to cancel the vote.

Athens has until 5 p.m. ET Tuesday to repay the $1.8 billion it owes as part of a $270 billion aid plan it received from the IMF, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission — 19 eurozone governments — during the financial crisis. President Obama cautioned that a failed Greek economy could have significant ripple effects on markets around the world, saying Tuesday that “what you have here is a country that has gone through some very difficult economic times, and needs to find a path toward growth and a path toward staying in the Eurozone. “


December 2017
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