Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Thursday 18 June that the eurozone was "dangerously close" to a state of mind "that accepts an accident". He also slammed other ministers who he said did not want to discuss his proposal to set up an automatic break on the country's public deficit.
Varoufakis said the "radical proposal" for an independent fiscal council monitoring budget execution, with an automated hard deficit break, was Greece's "gesture of goodwill to our partners" to show it is keen to reform.
"We are dangerously close to a state of mind that accepts an accident. And I urge my colleagues not to fall prey to this state of mind. We can forge a good agreement. Our government is standing by with ideas and with a determination to cultivate the two forms of trust necessary to end this Greek drama," he told reporters, after a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg failed to make any breakthrough on a cash-for-reforms agreement.
Greece has just 12 days before it must make a crucial debt repayment to the IMF. When asked about the possibility that Greece could leave the euro, Varoufakis said he did not want to even start to contemplate it.
"To even begin to imagine the deconstruction of a monetary union like the one we have created in Europe is to jeopardise the well-being of Europeans, and not only those who live within the eurozone," he said.
Varoufakis said all political leaders had a responsibility to work on finding a solution, adding that Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem was "unfortunately" focusing only on Greece's responsibilities.
Eurozone leaders will hold an emergency summit on Monday (22 June) to try to avert a Greek default after bank withdrawals accelerated and government revenue slumped.
European Council President Donald Tusk said in a statement he had summoned heads of state and government of the euro area to meet in Brussels at 5pm GMT on Monday to discuss Greece "at the highest political level". IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde earlier said further dialogue was needed "with adults in the room".
Varoufakis told reporters Greece "can make ends meet," before adding that an agreement along the lines of the proposals he presented would end the crisis.
"There is no doubt the Greek government is utterly committed to adjusting further, we desperately need these deep reforms, but I urged my colleagues in the Eurogroup to take under consideration the great difference between, on the one hand, reforms that attack parasitic rent-seeking behaviours and inefficiencies, and on the other hand parametric changes that simply jack up already high tax rates and reduced benefits to the weakest," Varoufakis said.
Greek savers pulled out some €2bn (£1.43bn, $2.27bn) between Monday 15 June and Wednesday 17 June after weekend negotiations collapsed in Brussels, senior banking sources told Reuters. That is double the amount that the European Central Bank granted Greek banks in extra emergency liquidity assistance this week.