Greek debt: 'Insane' not to reach an agreement in EU's crisis talks

Head of Greece's largest bank says that Alexis Tsipras needs to reach an agreement with the country's lenders

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The Independent Online

The head of Greece’s largest bank has said that it would be “insane” if the country did not reach an agreement at emergency talks on Monday.

Leaders of the 18 eurozone nations are due to meet Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister, at a summit in Brussels tomorrow.

Louka Katseli, chair of the National Bank of Greece, said that although the banks were not under immediate threat of running out of money, the situation was serious and would become severe without a deal, the BBC reported.

The European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank, are all unwilling to unlock funds for Greece until it agrees to economic reforms that they want introduced. So far, €7.2bn of funds to bail out the Greek government have been delayed since February.

“The cost for the Eurozone, which they are down-playing, is really serious,” Mrs Katseli told the BBC.

Mrs Katseli warned that if the markets discovered that a nation could be declared bankrupt, “then the first thing would happen is that there will be a speculative attack by the markets on the next weakest participant”.

Greek savers reportedly drew €4.2bn form accounts between Monday and Friday last week, totalling around 3 per cent of household and corporate deposits.

The comments from Mrs Katseli come in the wake of Mr Tsipras’ proposals to Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU Commission President, detailing an alternative deal to the one so far laid out.

In a statement, Mr Tsipras’ office said: “The prime minister presented the three leaders Greece's proposal for a mutually beneficial agreement that will give a definition solution and not postpone addressing the problem.”