Greeks Defiant as Clock Ticks Down in Debt Talks

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The Associated Press

Greece’s ruling Syriza party dismissed reform demands from the country’s international creditors as “blackmail” on Thursday as crisis talks to avert a debt default and a euro zone exit entered a critical phase.

A parliamentary spokesman for Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s left-wing party struck a defiant tone a day after euro zone finance ministers accused Athens of refusing to compromise despite a looming deadline to clinch a deal.

Tsipras was due to resume talks with Greece’s lenders at 9 a.m. (0700 GMT) before the ministers reconvene at 1 p.m. and European leaders begin arriving in Brussels later this afternoon.

Without a cash-for-reform deal in the next 48 hours, the chances of Greece averting a default to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) look slim.

Failure to repay 1.6 billion euros owed to the IMF on Tuesday could trigger a bank run and capital controls, followed by a slide out of the single currency area.

Read more at Reuters