Greece’s new leftist government and its international creditors failed to agree on a way forward on the country’s unpopular bailout and will try again on Monday, with time running out for a financing deal. In seven hours of crisis talks in Brussels that ended after midnight, euro zone finance ministers were unable to agree even a joint statement on the next procedural steps. Both sides played down the setback, insisting there had been no rupture.
But Greek stock prices, which whipped higher after hours in New York on talk of an accord, sagged with disappointment when it emerged that Greece’s laconic new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis had walked away from a draft deal to extend current credit terms after conferring with fellow Greek officials. “We had an intense discussion, constructive, covering a lot of ground, also making progress, but not enough progress yet to come to joint conclusions,” Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the chairman of Eurogroup finance ministers, told a midnight news conference.
“We didn’t actually go into detailed proposals, we didn’t enter into negotiations on content of the program or a program, we simply tried to work next steps over the next couple days. We were unable to do that.” Greece would have no further contact with experts from the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank before Monday, he said. That was the opposite of how other EU ministers understood they had left matters when they headed home an hour or so earlier.