World Bulletin / News Desk
Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Wednesday that euro zone finance ministers were still open to reaching a debt deal with Greece.
But irrespective of whether a deal was reached, policymakers needed to speed up plans for a closer integration of the currency bloc, starting with its banks, he told British radio.
Last-minute overtures on Tuesday from Greece to its international creditors for financial aid were not enough to save it from becoming the first developed economy to default on an International Monetary Fund loan.
That did not mean euro zone finance ministers had closed the door to a deal, Padoan said.
"As far as I'm concerned, as far as my colleagues in (the) Eurogroup are concerned, there's always a deal open (for Greece)," Padoan told BBC radio.
"The debt profile of Greece is much less worrying than ...is often portrayed. What Greece needs is to return to growth, and to return to growth Greece needs confidence, credit and especially structural measures."
A weaker currency would clearly not help Greece, and if the country were to end up exiting the euro, the currency bloc would become "a different animal" that would need to keep its focus on closer integration.
"At this stage whatever happens we need to accelerate integration and institution building in the euro area starting from a deeper banking union," Padoan said.Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Temmuz 2015, 10:30