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Eurogroup delays Greek crisis talks amid mixed response to 'Grexit'

The Eurogroup has delayed Greek crisis talks meant to discuss Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' latest proposal. The "Financial Times" has reported that he would accept the creditors' proposal "following amendments."

A Eurogroup teleconference meeting slated for Wednesday morning at 0930 UTC was pushed back at the behest of eurozone finance ministers to 1530 UTC.

The eurozone's finance ministers are expected to discuss a new bailout program put forth by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday.

The Greek government's proposal requests an additional 29.1 billion euros ($32.3 billion) from the European Stability mechanism to cover Greece's "financing needs and the simultaneous restructuring of debt" for the next two years.

The proposal was received by eurozone finance ministers hours before a deadline in which Greece was to make a payment on its loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the amount of 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion).

Greece missed the payment deadline making it the first industrial nation to default on an IMF loan.

Tsipras allegedly accepted the proposal put forth by Greece's creditors in a letter to the Eurogroup on Tuesday night, although "subject to the following amendments, additions or clarifications," the "Financial Times" reported.

Germany's Bundestag is expected to discuss the situation in Greece at 1100 UTC.

Greece to stay in euro despite 'No' vote?

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Wednesday that a deal was still possible before the referendum.

"Our aim is to see until the last minute whether it's possible to find a deal that paves the way for a return to stability in Greece and would reassure Europe and the world," Sapin said.

Sapin added that a "No" vote at the referendum would not categorically force Greece out of the eurozone.

"Even if the 'No' wins, France's role would be to do everything to keep [Greece] in the eurozone," he said.

Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan echoed Sapin's comments, stating that the Eurogroup was still open to reaching a deal with Greece, according to Reuters news agency.

"As far as I'm concerned, as far as my colleagues in [the] Eurogroup are concerned, there's always a deal open," Padoan told BBC radio.

"The debt profile of Greece is much less worrying than…is often portrayed. What Greece needs is to return to growth, and to return to growth Greece needs confidence, credit and especially structural measures."

Meanwhile, George Osborne, the UK's treasury chief, said that Greece's failure to make a payment to the IMF has only added to the crisis in the debt-stricken Mediterranean country.

Griechenland Schuldenkrise Rentner bekommen Teil der Rente

Elderly Greek, many without banking cards, have lined up to receive their pensions on Wednesday

"We hope for the best; but we prepare for the worst, and we stand ready to do whatever is necessary to protect our economic security at this uncertain time," Osborne said.

Osborne's comments also follow a recent push by British Prime Minister David Cameron to renegotiate its treaty with the EU.

Financial markets were shaky ahead of the Eurogroup meeting on Wednesday as the euro steadied.

ls/kms (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa, EFE)

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