Fresh talks on new Greece bailout

Athens, July 1 (IANS) Eurozone ministers are scheduled to discuss a Greek request for a new bailout on Wednesday after Athens missed the deadline for a $1.7-billion payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

On Tuesday, eurozone finance ministers refused to extend the previous bailout following the collapse of talks.

As a result, Greece became the first European Union (EU) country to fail to repay an IMF loan and is now in arrears, BBC reported.

In one of two crucial meetings on Wednesday afternoon, officials with the European Central Bank (ECB) will decide whether to grant an emergency loan to Greece.

In the second, eurozone finance ministers will discuss Greece’s latest proposal for a third bailout.

It would last two years and amount to 29.1 billion euros (about $32 billion).

Only three other countries are still in arrears to the IMF — Sudan, Somalia and Zimbabwe.

The ECB has also frozen its liquidity lifeline to Greek banks, which did not open this week.

Withdrawals from cash machines are capped at just 60 euros a day and long queues have been forming outside banks.

However, up to 1,000 branches reopened on Wednesday to allow pensioners — many of whom do not use bank cards — a one-off weekly withdrawal of up to 120 euros.

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