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[LONDON] European shares fell for a second straight session on Thursday, with lingering concerns of a Greek debt default following a lack of progress in negotiations with its creditors prompting investors to cut their exposure to riskier assets like equities.
Euro zone finance ministers accused Athens on Wednesday of refusing to compromise despite a deadline next week that could put it on a path out of the euro zone. European Union leaders are due in Brussels for a summit on Thursday.
A senior official of Greece's ruling Syriza party on Thursday attacked the latest proposals from international lenders as "blackmail".
At 0706 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.5 per cent at 1,569.82 points after closing 0.4 per cent lower in the previous session.
Hennes & Mauritz fell 2.2 per cent after the world's second-biggest fashion retailer reported a fiscal second-quarter pretax profit roughly in line with expectations and said a stronger dollar would result in gradually increased purchasing costs when sourcing for the coming quarters of 2015.