(INDEPENDENT) — Greece’s crunch talks with its European creditors broke down after just four hours today, pushing the country closer towards a potential exit from the single currency.
Greece refused to countenance an extension of the existing €172bn bailout programme, while the rest of the eurozone’s finance ministers said this was a non-negotiable first step to talks.
“There is no alternative to a request to an extension of the programme” said Pierre Moscovici, the European Commission’s economics and financial affairs commissioner. That was echoed by Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the chairman of the Eurogroup. “It is up to the Greek authorities now to decide whether they would want such an extension” he said. “There was a very strong opinion across the whole Eurogroup that it has to come from the Greek authorities... They have to make up their mind whether they will ask for an extension of the current programme.”
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