Euro zone readies for Greek default after Tsipras referendum call

By Renee Maltezou and Robin Emmott ATHENS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece’s European partners shut the door on extending a credit lifeline to Athens, leaving it facing a default that could push it out of the euro after the leftist government rejected tough lender demands and put their bailout deal to a referendum. Finance ministers of the other 18 countries sharing the euro met for the first time without Greece and flatly rejected its pleas to extend an expiring bailout until after the referendum on July 5 and setting the stage for Athens to default on a crucial IMF payment on Tuesday. After its surprise decision to call a referendum on the bailout, Athens asked for an extension of Greece’s bailout program beyond Tuesday, the day it must pay 1.6 billion euros to the International Monetary Fund or default.

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