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Greece Won't Pay Its IMF Debt As Crisis Continues And Referendum Looms

06/29/2015 04:07 pm ET | Updated Jun 29, 2015
Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Greece will not make the 1.6 billion euro debt payment that it owes the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday, a Greek official confirmed to Reuters. The announcement Monday appeared to set the country on a path to default, and heightened fears of financial collapse and a Greek exit from the eurozone.

Long lines formed at ATMs in Greece as banks were ordered to restrict withdrawals to 60 euros per person a day.

atm lines greecePeople queue at the ATM machines of the Piraeus bank in central Athens on June 29, 2015. (LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

"I've got five euros in my pocket, I thought I would try my luck here for some money. The queues in my neighborhood were too long yesterday," plumber Yannis Kalaizakis told Reuters outside an empty cash machine in central Athens on Monday.

Dozens of pensioners were turned away from the Greek national bank after hearing erroneous rumors they could take out their pensions, reported Reuters. Supermarkets and petrol stations reported critical shortages.

atm lines greecePensioners queue outside a closed branch of the Greek National bank in Thessaloniki on June 29, 2015. (SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Only one day remains before the end of the bailout program between Greece and its international creditors -- the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission. Over the weekend, the ECB denied a request from Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to extend the program until Greece could hold a national referendum on July 5 on the terms of the bailout extension.

Tsipras' surprise move to hold a vote signaled a breakdown in monthslong negotiations to release a 7.2 billion euro portion of bailout funds that the country needs before Tuesday's payment deadline.

This latest development in the ongoing debt crisis comes while Greek banks remained closed and capital controls restricting cash withdrawals from ATMs were imposed across the country.

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A street vendor sells Greek flags in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 29, 2015. (LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker warned Greeks on Monday that voting "no" to a bailout deal in the upcoming referendum would set them on a course to leave the euro. While Juncker had harsh words for the Greek negotiators -- saying he felt "betrayed" -- the EU chief insisted a deal could still be reached.

French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi all issued separate statements echoing Juncker's warning. German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel also said that a "no" vote would mean an exit from the eurozone.

Germany is Greece's largest creditor, and the current debt debacle has put renewed scrutiny in recent days on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's strict austerity policies and her hand in the crisis.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to the media on June 29, 2015, in Berlin, Germany.(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The uncertainty over the future of Greece's place within the eurozone had a rattling effect on global markets as they opened this week, sending stocks down around the world.

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's also downgraded Greece's already dismal CCC rating to a -CCC.

As night fell in Athens, a large crowd of around 13,000 pro-government protestors gathered to back a "no" vote in the referendum and chant in support of Tsipras. The demonstrators gathered outside Greece's parliament to show their opposition to the creditors desired reforms, in what The Associated Press reported was the largest referendum rally yet.

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Carrying banners calling for a 'NO' vote in the forthcoming referendum on bailout conditions set by the country's creditors, protesters gather in front of the Greek parliament in Athens, on June 29, 2015. (LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

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