A woman walks past Greek flags hanging on a kiosk in central Athens on June 15, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS
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Greece and its creditors stuck to their positions on Monday after the collapse of talks aimed at preventing a default and possible euro exit, while Germany's EU commissioner said it was time to prepare for a "state of emergency".Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras ignored pleas from European leaders to act fast. Instead he blamed creditors for the collapse of the cash-for-reform talks Sunday, the biggest setback in long-running negotiations to secure more aid for Greece. The European Commission said it would only resume mediation efforts if Greece put forward new proposals, while the Greek government spokesman said Athens would stick to its rejection of wage and pension cuts and higher taxes on basic goods.EU officials said that without improved Greek proposals by Thursday, the Eurogroup would be very tough and was likely to present Greece with an ultimatum.Spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt said Greece and the three institutions -- the IMF, Commission and European Central Bank -- had agreed on budget surplus targets before debt service costs for the coming years, but there was no agreement on how Greece would achieve the goals.The creditors argue Greece must reform its pensions system to put state finances on a sustainable footing.
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