Crunch talks between Greece and its eurozone partners broke up abruptly today after Athens rejected demands that it continue its current massive debt bailout unchanged as "absurd".
"The meeting is over," a European source told AFP, momentsafter a government source in Athens said Greece had rejected ademand by eurozone ministers that the debt-wracked countrystick to its bailout programme.
Greece faced a wall of opposition at the crucial talkswith eurozone finance ministers dead set against scrapping thecountry's massive bailout programme as a bitter stand-offdeepened. The hard-left government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsiprasis trying to win a radical overhaul to the terms of its 240-billion-euro (USD 270 billion) bailout which it says hasdamaged the Greek economy after years of imposed austerity.
The source said Athens had been told to respect theexisting conditions of the bailout, a red line that theTsipras government refuses to cross.
"The insistence of certain people for the new Greek government to enforce the bailout is absurd andunacceptable... under these circumstances there can be no dealtoday," the source said.
Eurozone finance ministers were meeting in Brussels hopingto reach a compromise before Greece's bailout expires onFebruary 28.
"(Implementing) the bailout programme was off the table atthe summit. Those who bring this back are wasting their time,"the Greek government source said.