As the clock ticks down to a Greek default, the Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem says it's ''too late'' for an extension of Athens' current bailout program. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The chairman of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said late on Tuesday that Greece is on track to default at midnight and Athens' stance towards its creditors would have to change before its euro zone partners could consider any additional financial assistance. Speaking after an emergency conference call between the currency bloc's finance ministers, Dijsselbloem said Greece's last minute request to extend its current bailout program had fallen on deaf ears. "On the element of the extension, I think we are beyond that point. That comes too late for many reasons," he said. Dijsselbloem, who is also the Netherlands' finance minister, said any new program might impose tougher conditions than the previous one. He said that, in any case, no new program could be agreed until after Greeks have voted in a referendum on Sunday (July 5), and until the government's attitude changes. "I am just stating the facts: the facts are that the program will expire tonight, and Greece, my information is that they will be in default tomorrow, because they will miss their payments to their creditors. That is something I don't think we can stop between now and tomorrow morning. What can change is the political stance of the Greek government that has led to this unfortunate situation. And what we could consider, but we will have another conference call tomorrow, is further talks on a new program, but given the current political position that the Greek government is taking, it's very difficult to have constructive talks." "What can change is the political stance of the Greek government that has led to this unfortunate situation," he said. Greece will lose access to a 1.8 billion euro loan tranche, as well as 10.9 billion euros for recapitalising banks, when the country's financial aid package expires at midnight (2200 GMT), the euro zone's bailout fund said on Tuesday. Greece's aid program is provided by the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the forerunner to the permanent European Stability Mechanism (ESM).