Euro-zone finance ministers reject Greek bid for bailout extension

Euro-area finance chiefs rejected a Greek request for an extension of the country’s bailout, piling more pressure on prime minister Alexis Tsipras’s government as lines formed outside ATMs in Greece amid public concern the financial system will go into meltdown.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who chairs meetings of the so-called Eurogroup, told reporters after a meeting in Brussels Saturday that his Greek colleague, Yanis Varoufakis, had requested a one-month extension. But with “no comprehensive package agreed” to by finance chiefs, the Greek government faces the expiry of its aid programme on Tuesday night without any future financing in place.

“Not only has the Greek government rejected the last proposals by the institutions, you have to realise that those proposals already took advantage of the maxiumum flexibility,” Mr Dijsselbloem said. As a result, euro-area authorities “stand ready to do whatever is necessary to ensure financial stability” of the 19-nation currency region.

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