Greece Seeks New Bailout From Eurozone, Misses Loan Payment
Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET
The International Monetary Fund confirms that Greece has officially missed a loan payment and is in arrears.
Just hours before Greece was due to make the payment of approximately $1.8 billion dollars, the Greek government asked for a new bailout from countries that use the euro currency.
The Greek proposal reportedly asks for a new two-year deal "for the full coverage of financial needs and at the same time restructuring of debt."
In the meantime, Greece says it will go ahead with a referendum Sunday on proposals from the country's creditors — a referendum in which Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to vote "no." European leaders have warned that a "no" vote is tantamount to choosing to leave the eurozone. Indeed, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday her country will not consider Greece's proposal before the referendum.
Greece's creditors want the country to raise taxes and cut spending on welfare — demands the Greek government has rejected.
"We ask you to reject it [the proposal] with all the might of your soul, with the greatest margin possible," Tsipras said Monday night on national TV.
And he suggested that a "yes" vote would prompt him to resign as prime minister.
"If the Greek people want to proceed with austerity plans in perpetuity, which will leave us unable to lift our head ... we will respect it, but we will not be the ones to carry it out," Tsipras said.
The question before Greeks in Sunday's referendum is as follows:
"Should the agreement plan submitted by the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to the June 25 eurogroup and consisting of two parts, which form their single proposal, be accepted? The first document is titled 'Reforms for the completion of the Current Program and Beyond' and the second 'Preliminary Debt Sustainability Analysis'.
Tsipras said Greece will not be allowed to leave the eurozone because "the cost would be huge."
"The financial cost of the dissolution of the eurozone and the cost of bankruptcy of the European Central Bank is huge — enormous," he said in the TV interview. "This is my evaluation."
The translation of his comments came from the BBC.
Until last weekend, it was hoped that emergency meetings between Greece and its creditors — the European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank — would pave the way for Greece to receive an additional $8.17 billion, the latest tranche in several infusions that will go to repay the country's outstanding loans.
Without that money, Greece likely will exit the eurozone, a move that would have an even worse effect on the country's economy and hurt the rest of the EU, too.
But talks broke down over the terms of the agreement. Tsipras announced a July 5 referendum on the proposals and urged his people to vote "no." He said Monday that a "no" vote would give Greece "more powerful weapons." The failed negotiations were followed by the ECB halting an emergency credit line to Greek banks. Banks and ATMs in the country remained closed Tuesday for a second day after the government announced capital controls in response to the ECB's move.