Greece’s finance minister has warned the country is facing a “massive economic crisis” if its banks are forced to close.
The latest round of bailouts for the country’s banks came after they were forced to shut on Monday as Athens ran out of cash to pay its debts.
However, Athens has vowed to fight against any closure.
The country’s parliament voted last week to take the first steps to allow the banks to reopen, with the government also proposing legislation that would give the central bank more powers to make decisions about the bank’s fate.
But on Sunday the minister of finance, Yannis Stournaras, warned the banks would not be allowed to close without a bailout.
“We want the banks closed immediately.
We need to do all that we can for the banks.
We want to avoid any kind of collapse in the banking system.
We don’t want to lose the possibility of a recovery, so the only thing we can do is close the banks,” Mr Stournars said.
The European Central Bank is likely to start its own bond-buying program for Greece on Monday, which is expected to add to pressure on the country.
Meanwhile, the European Commission has said it will not provide assistance to Greece until it has a plan to avoid a “catastrophic” banking crisis.
But Greek Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis told the BBC that the country was “ready to be rescued”.
“We don’t have a crisis but the banks are being closed.
We are ready to do whatever we can,” he said.”
But the conditions for a rescue are not being met.”
So I think that the only way to get a bailout is through the European Union, not through the ECB.
“He added: “We have not received any financial aid from the EU yet, and we will not receive any financial assistance from the ECB until we get a plan for a bank rescue.
“The country has a total of €8.5bn in public debt, of which about €4.5 billion is owed to private creditors.
The Government has also said it would not accept a loan of up to €7bn from the European Central Banks.
The banks were closed on Monday amid a global financial crisis triggered by a Greek default on its bailout loans.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is now considering whether to lend Greece a further €5.5billion ($6.2bn) to help ease the country of its debt burden.
It will take a final decision on the bailout in a few weeks.
Mr Stournaryas also said the Greek Government would not hold a referendum on the Greek bailout, but would instead ask voters to reject a new referendum if they voted for it.”
I do not want a referendum.
I do not like a referendum because it’s not democratic,” he told the Greek TV channel TV3.”
Instead, I want a clear, transparent and binding decision.
A clear and transparent decision that will be made by the Greek people.
“He also said he had no plans to resign.