Greek negotiations on hold until after referendum
Eurozone finance ministers have put further bailout talks with Greece on hold until after Sunday’s referendum.
A meeting between finance ministers representing the 19 eurozone countries last night (early this morning New Zealand time) ended with an agreement to conduct no further talks until the people of Greece have had their say.
Yesterday Greece defaulted on its €1.6 billion IMF loan, becoming the first developed country in history to do so.
Eurozone president Jeroen Dijsselbloem says given the political situation, the rejection of the previous proposals and the recommendation by the Greek government to vote 'no’ on the referendum, there are no grounds for further talks.
"There will be no talks in the coming days, either at eurogroup level or between the Greek authorities and the institutions on proposals or financial arrangements," he says.
Before the meeting of the finance ministers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was vocal that no further negotiations should be held until after Sunday’s referendum.
Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and his government have been outspoken in urging the Greek people to vote ‘no’ on Sunday.
In a television address, Mr Tsipras said Sunday’s referendum is not about whether the country will remain in the Eurozone or not. “That’s a given and no one can doubt that.”
“On Sunday we choose whether we will accept the specific agreement, or seek a more viable solution with the public’s approval.”
He reiterated the government’s “unwavering intention” to reach a deal with the creditors, but with terms that are “viable and have potential.”
Meanwhile, there is still unrest in Greece and the population is split on whether it should vote 'yes', or 'no' this Sunday.
Yesterday, thousands gathered on Athens' streets voicing their opinions. There were two different rallies – one supporting the government’s rejection of the proposed austerity measures, and the other calling for them to be adopted so Greece can remain in the eurozone.
Banks remain closed until July 6 and a €60 per person limit is still in place on ATMs across the country.