European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s 11th-hour effort to strike a deal with Greece was parried by euro-area finance ministers refusing to loosen their grip on the country’s economy.
Talks Monday in Brussels ended abruptly and Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis claimed a bait-and-switch, saying Juncker’s commission had offered a path forward that euro-area finance ministers then refused to put on the table. Instead, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem offered a different statement tying Greece to an extension of its existing program. Varoufakis rejected that proposal out of hand.
According to seven European officials with direct knowledge of the talks, the meeting unraveled from that point. Dijsselbloem, who leads the finance ministers’ group, halted the proceedings, saying ministers could reconvene on Friday if there’s a breakthrough.