The brewing crisis over Greece’s debt and the country’s future in the euro zone is expected to dominate talks at the latest G-20 summit in Istanbul Monday as the world’s finance leaders expressed concern that Greece is on an unstoppable collision course with its international lenders.
The impasse between Greece and its lenders took a turn for the worse Sunday when the new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed to push on with promises to roll back on austerity measures and stressed that his country would not be asking for an extension to its current bailout, which is due to end February 28.
On Monday, global finance leaders expressed concerns that the window of opportunity for a solution was closing.
U.S. Treasury secretary Jack Lew told CNBC on the sidelines on the G20 summit Monday that parties on both sides of the debate needed reel in the rhetoric.
“I think what has to happen right now is that everybody’s got to tamp down the rhetoric a little bit,” he told CNBC’s Steve Liesman.
“There needs to be a conversation where Greece, and all of the parties that it’s engaged with, look for a practical, pragmatic path forward– which I think is in everybody’s best interest.”
The “troika” of international bodies overseeing Greece’s bailout loans — the European Central Bank (ECB), European Commission and International Monetary Fund – has said it won’t release a last tranche of aid to Greece until the government makes a commitment to continue with the conditions of its bailout, including austerity. The ECB has also refused Greece’s request for a bridging loan once its bailout ends later this month.
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