After a tragic sequence of events even Sophocles couldn’t have written, Greece announced that it will not pay a 1.6 billion euro debt installment to the International Monetary Fund, which was due on Tuesday. The next plot twist is set for July 5, when the Greek people will vote in a “yes" or “no” referendum on whether to accept tough terms demanded by creditors, including tax hikes and pension cuts. FOXBusiness.com takes a look at the key players in the country’s debt crisis.
1. Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece
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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called for a referendum on austerity demands from foreign creditors on Saturday, rejecting an "ultimatum" from lenders and putting a deal that could determine Greece's future in Europe to a risky popular vote. Tsipras became the 186th Prime Minister of Greece in 2015 after receiving 149 out of the 300 seats in Parliament.
2. Yanis Varoufakis, Finance Minister of Greece
Yanis Varoufakis became the finance minister of Greece after the January 2015 general election. He was elected to the Greek parliament, representing SYRIZA and took office in the new government of Alexis Tsipras.
3. Angela Merkel, German Chancellor
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that Germany would not negotiate on a new bailout agreement before Greece's referendum, which is planned for Sunday.
4. Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission President
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned Greeks of the consequences of voting "no" in the referendum.
5. Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde expressed her disappointment on Sunday over what she described as an “inconclusive outcome” on Greece. She added that the IMF is prepared to continue to pursue a balanced approach with the Greek authorities and the IMF’s European partners to restore economic stability to the region.
6. Greek People
Since Greece joined the Eurozone in 2001, its spending has grown to extreme highs, and now the country is on the brink of collapsing.