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Greece Becomes First Advanced Country To Default On IMF Loans

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Greece slipped deeper into a financial abyss after the bailout program it has relied on for five years expired at midnight June 30 and the country failed to repay a loan due to the International Monetary Fund.

With its failure to make the roughly 1.6 billion euro payment, Greece became the first developed country to fall into arrears on payments to the fund. The last country to do so was Zimbabwe in 2001.

After Greece made a last-ditch effort to extend its bailout, eurozone finance ministers decided in a teleconference that there was no way they could reach a deal before the deadline.

"It would be crazy to extend the program," said Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbleom, who heads the eurozone finance ministers' body known as the Eurogroup. "So that cannot happen and will not happen."

"The program expires tonight," Dijsselbleom said.

The missed loan payment is the largest in the IMF's history. IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said Greece can now only receive further IMF funding once the arrears are cleared.

Rice said that Greece had asked for a last-minute repayment extension, which the fund's board will consider "in due course."

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP