As talks between Greece and its international creditors reached a deadlock and time rapidly running out for a solution, the head of the European Central Bank (ECB) Mario Draghi called on the Greek government to make the first move.
"While all actors will now need to go the extra mile, the ball lies squarely in the camp of the Greek government to take necessary steps," said Draghi on Monday at the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. "We need a strong and comprehensive agreement with Greece, and we need this very soon," he added.
Draghi’s comments came after the talks broke down between Greece and its lenders over the weekend. European officials blame the Greek government for failing to offer necessary changes in the rescue-for-reforms deal.
The ECB president said the bank would keep approving emergency funding for Greek banks while they have enough cash and collateral to function. Draghi added that the ECB had extended around €118 billion ($133 billion) to Greek banks in 2015, more than double the amount of in 2014.
Greece now has just two weeks to find a way out of the impasse before it faces €1.6 billion in repayments to the International Monetary Fund.
Draghi also commented on the eurozone economic recovery and inflation. He said the economic recovery is proceeding at a moderate pace, while the inflation will remain low in the coming months before rising gradually around the turn of the year. Draghi added that the central bank is closely monitoring conditions to detect signs of an unwarranted tightening of their stance.