Le Soir, June 29, 2015
The European and Greek flags billow beside each other under the headline "Disunion" on the front page of today's Le Soir, a Brussels-based daily. Negotiations between Athens and its European creditors collapsed over the weekend, plunging the continent into a new depth of uncertainty and crisis.
After European officials rejected the Greek government's final offer for reforms in exchange for an extension of the bailout, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called a referendum on the bailout terms, set to take place next Sunday, July 5th. The proposals included further cuts to pensions and a rise in sales tax, which Tsipras' left-wing government deems too harsh to accept for an economy already suffering from years of austerity. If voters reject the terms, Greece will be forced to default on its debt, which could force its exit from the Eurozone.
Greece's current bailout expires Tuesday, when it must also make a $1.7 billion payment to the International Monetary Fund. Athens' request for a temporary extension of aid until the referendum was rejected, and the European Central Bank ordered Greek banks to remain closed today, forcing the government to impose capital controls after bank withdrawals spiked over the past few days.
With the impending end of Greece's economic lifeline and a precarious referendum campaign to prepare for, citizens and leaders across Europe look ahead to a week of tension and uncertainty. Here's are some front pages Monday from the European press: