June 27, 2015 / 4:09 PM / 4 years ago

Greece must still honor its debts, Eurogroup's Dijsselbloem says

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Greece’s decision to call a referendum on the demands of its creditors does not excuse it from paying its debts and euro zone ministers are now discussing what to do now Athens has rejected a cash-for-reforms deal, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the chairman of the euro zone finance ministers, said on Saturday.

“It is the responsibility of the Greek government to meet its obligations, firstly with the IMF,” he said. “It is a responsibility and it doesn’t go away.”

“We will have a second meeting to discuss any consequences from the political conclusion just drawn and to prepare for whatever is needed to make sure that at all times the stability of the euro zone remains at its high level,” Dijsselbloem said after a first Eurogroup meeting concluded.

Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will not take part in the second meeting now underway in Brussels, Dijsselbloem said.

Warning of the financial impact of rejecting euro zone aid tied to conditions, he said: “I speak with regret about those risks, but they will be there.”

Reporting by Robin Emmott and Philip Blenkinsop

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