The euro zone finance ministers, including Germany’s Wolfgang Schäuble, will begin a high-stakes meeting later Monday to discuss the options for Greece before its €240 billion aid program runs out at the end of the month.
Without a new bailout program or an extension of the existing one, Greece could run out of money within months and in a worst case scenario be forced to leave the 19-nation euro zone and reintroduce a national currency. Its banks, which have already seen billions of euros in capital leave the country, may see emergency funding from the European Central Bank cut off as early as March.
The euro zone countries, which have furnished Greece with most of its loans since 2010, are open to a new bailout program instead of extending the current one, a high-ranking European Union diplomat told Handelsblatt. German officials still favor an extension, according to government sources.