Crucial debt talks between Greece, EU end with no deal

Crucial talks between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European officials ended early Thursday in Brussels with no deal for Athens to get a desperately needed installment of a European Union bailout.

Talks witih eurozone ministers quickly fell apart Wednesday when neither side had a deal the other was willing to accept.

Tsipras had planned to meet late into the night with Greece’s creditors, but those talks also ended earlier than expected, with neither side making any comment.

The eurozone ministers planned to gather again later Thursday ahead of an EU summit.

Greece must make a nearly $2 billion loan payment to the International Monetary Fund by next Tuesday.  To do that, it needs an $8 billion installment of an EU economic bailout.

Although Greece has agreed to reform its pension system and raise certain sales taxes, it is still demanding that its debt be restructured by the EU.

Tsipras’ leftist government has said Greeks have suffered enough from spending cuts and tax increases that have lowered their standard of living.

A default could force Greece out of the eurozone and shake up European markets.