′Greek government ended talks unilaterally,′ says Germany′s Schäuble | News | DW | 27.06.2015
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'Greek government ended talks unilaterally,' says Germany's Schäuble

Germant's finance minister has said that Greece's decision to hold a referendum on creditors' proposal "ended" talks. Other finance ministers have said it's time to move to "Plan B," Greece's exit from the eurozone.

Ahead of a June 30 deadline, the Greek government's decision to hold a referendum on a proposal submitted by Greece's creditors has "unilaterally" ended talks, said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Saturday ahead of a Eurogroup meeting.

"The Greek government has, if I understand correctly, ended the negotiations unilaterally," Schäuble said.

After more than five months of deadlocked negotiations between Greece and its creditors - the International Monetary Fund (IMB), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the European Union (EU) - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's decision to hold a referendum on the proposal has led to rifts between Eurogroup members.

Finland's Finance Minister Alexander Stubb warned eurozone finance ministers on Saturday ahead of their meeting that#s meant to finalize a deal on a Greek bailout that the time had come to explore "Plan B," known better as a Greek exit, or Grexit, from the eurozone.

Stubb said that "there is pretty much a consensus inside the Eurogroup that we cannot extend the program as it stands."

"Consequently, I would argue that Plan B becomes Plan A…I think that's the only option we have to discuss because there's nothing else on the table," Stubb added.

In or out?

However, earlier on Saturday, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said that Greece's creditors "will continue to work" on a deal to save the country, even amid a referendum.

Pierre Moscovici said on Saturday ahead of the meeting that the differences between Greece and its creditors could be bridged."

"These proposals are favorable to Greece, favorable to the Greek people…I see that there are differences, but the differences are quite limited, and they are identified," Moscovici said.

"The place of Greece is in the eurozone and we are working on that," Moscovici added.

Reactions from Greece's creditors comes amid Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis' call for the ECB to return 1.9 billion euros ($2.12 billion) in in profits from Greek bonds so that it could make its June 30 payment to the IMF, Reuters news agency reported.

Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's deputy, the Social Democrat Sigmar Gabriel, said that the planned referendum on the bailout "could make sense." Talking on German public radio, he asked Eurogroup members not to "dsimiss this suggestion...out of hand."

ls/ng (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)