Euro zone finance ministers told Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday that they would review his request for a new bailout loan in the light of how Greeks vote on Sunday in the referendum he has called on credit terms. "We will come back to your request for financial stability support from the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) only after, and on the basis of the outcome of, the referendum," Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch Finance Minister who chairs the Eurogroup of his euro zone peers, wrote to Tsipras. The ministers had held a conference call earlier in the evening and decided not to resume talks with Athens until the referendum, in which Tsipras has called on voters to reject a previous offer by creditors, has delivered its result.
Euro zone central bank chiefs kept their existing cap on a funding lifeline to Greece in place on Wednesday, the ECB said, a move that keeps pressure on Greece as its lenders run out of cash. The Governing Council of decision makers has pared back support to a bare minimum ahead of a bailout referendum that could decide Greece's future in the euro, but decided against cutting it further, for fear that it would further destabilize the banks. As the central bankers gathered in Frankfurt, a defiant Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged Greeks to reject an international bailout deal, wrecking any prospect of repairing relations with Europe before the Sunday vote.
The Greek government aims to secure deal with creditors on Monday, a day after a referendum in which Greeks will vote on whether to accept or reject a bailout offer made by lenders last week, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Wednesday. In an interview with Greek state television, Varoufakis said that Athens was willing to accept "strict" conditions of a new bailout package, if in exchange the sustainability of Greece's debt were guaranteed. "The Greek bank situation will return to normal soon after a deal is reached," Varoufakis said.