Greece Defaults on IMF Loan Despite New Push for Bailout Aid

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from The Wall Street Journal,

European finance chiefs shut down Athens’s last-minute request for emergency financial aid.

Greece became the first developed country to default on the International Monetary Fund, as the rescue program that has sustained it for five years expired and its creditors rejected a last-ditch effort to buy more time.

The Washington-based fund said the Greek government failed to transfer €1.55 billion ($1.73 billion) by close-of-business on Tuesday—the largest, single missed repayment in the IMF’s history.

The failure to pay the IMF was a dramatic, if anticipated, conclusion to a day full of unexpected twists and turns. On Tuesday morning—with the clock ticking toward the midnight expiration on the European portion of Greece’s €245 billion bailout—officials in Athens said they were working on a new solution to the four-month old impasse with creditors.

By the afternoon, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had asked for a new rescue program—the country’s third in five years—to help pay for some €29.15 billion ($32.52 billion) in debt coming due between 2015 and 2017.

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