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Greece talks with EU-IMF creditors end with no deal, 'significant gaps'

With the deal deadline looming on June 18, Greece has failed to reach an agreement during the latest round of bailout talks with EU-IMF creditors. The European Commission has said "significant gaps" still remain.

Sunday's failed talks came just a day after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras warned his country to prepare for a "difficult compromise" with the creditiors.

A spokesman from the EU's executive said on Sunday, however, that although some progress had been made, "the talks did not succeed as there remains a significant gap between the plans of the Greek authorities and the joint requirements of the Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and IMF."

Following the 45-minute meeting, a Greek government source said the demands of its international creditors were "irrational," pinning the blame on the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whose position it said was "intransigent and tough" following demands for further pension cuts and a rise in value-added tax.

Crunch time

Athens said on Friday that it would present its bailout creditors with a last chance proposal over the weekend in a bid to secure the 7.2 billion euros ($8.1 billion) still remaining in its international rescue package.

Greece's creditors, however, are demanding tough reforms in exchange for the bailout, with top eurozone officials saying on Friday that they were preparing the ground for an Athens default.

At the end of this month, Athens also faces a huge 1.6 billion euro payment to the IMF and a further 3.4 billion euros to the ECB.

If Greece fails to make the payments, the country could possibly see the introduction of capital controls, closure of banks, and the government issuing IOUs to keep the public sector financially viable.

Speaking to German public broadcaster AFD on Sunday, German Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel stood by the EU-IMF creditors, saying his country "would not be blackmailed" into a bailout deal with Greece.

ksb/rc (AFP, dpa)