Euro zone ministers reject Greek bailout extension

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Greek lawmakers debated a surprise bailout referendum amid signs of customers queueing to withdraw money from banks as fears of a default intensified (AFP Photo/Louisa Gouliamaki)
Eurozone finance ministers refused Saturday to extend Greece\’s bailout programme past June 30 after Athens called a referendum on reform proposals by creditors, sources told AFP.
The ministers "rejected an extension of the aid programme" at a meeting in Brussels, hours after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called the plebiscite on the bailout proposal for July 5.
The minister talks, the fifth round in ten days, were largely seen as the last chance for Athens to avoid default, with only three days remaining until the June 30 IMF payment deadline.
Three hours into the talks, the ministers were preparing a statement that would be "very hard" on the Greeks, a source said.
After that statement, ministers were expected to resume discussions without the Greek delegation in attendance to discuss preparations for a possible Greek default.
 Greek opinion poll shows 57 percent favor deal with lenders
A majority of Greeks favour accepting a bailout deal with international lenders, according to two opinion polls conducted before Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced a surprise referendum on the issue.
The survey by the Alco polling institute published in Sunday\’s edition of the Proto Thema newspaper, said 57 percent of 1,000 respondents were in favour of reaching a deal, while 29 percent wanted a break with creditors.
Tsipras announced a snap referendum for July 5, after Greece failed to agree to terms with its international creditors on a cash for reforms deal which would allow the country to make a 1.6 billion euro (£1.13 billion) payment to the IMF on June 30.
Voters will be called to decide on whether to accept lenders demands or reject them.
Pollsters Kapa Research said 47.2 percent of respondents were in favour of an accord and 33 percent against, according to To Vima newspaper. Its 1,005 respondents were asked how they would vote if a new "painful" agreement were put to the vote in a referendum.
Some 48.3 percent of respondents in the Kapa poll said they would not support any move by the government which could place Greece outside the euro zone.
SOURCE: REUTERS and AFP

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