In a dramatic but widely expected step, Greece formally defaulted on a $1.7 billion payment to the International Monetary Fund early Wednesday in Athens.
Greece became the first developed country to default to the IMF, an organization of 188 nations that tries to keep the world economy stable.
Greece will now be cut off from access to IMF resources until the payment is made.
The move came hours after the country made a desperate attempt Tuesday to halt its plunge into economic chaos by requesting a new European bailout.
Greece asked for a two-year bailout from Europe, its third in six years. The bankrupt country is reported to be asking for 29 billion euros ($32 billion).
Finance ministers discussed the request by phone and agreed to hold another call Wednesday, when Greece is expected to provide more details.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chaired the meeting, said any new rescue may require tougher conditions than those Greece has already rejected because of the rapid deterioration in the country’s finances.
“So this is not an easy road to go down,” he told CNN’s Richard Quest.