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Greece says ECB won’t let its banks collapse, Tsipras to talk to Juncker

Greek Prime Minister Tsipras is set to talk to EU 's Juncker later today

The European Central Bank will not allow Greek lenders to collapse as this would create a domino effect and topple banks in other parts of Europe, a Greek state minister said on Saturday.

As Greece moves perilously close to default and a possible exit from the euro zone, the ECB expanded emergency funding to keep Greek banks afloat, as nervous savers withdrew billions of euros from local lenders in recent days.

“The ECB cannot let banks collapse,” State Minister Alekos Flabouraris told Greek Mega television. “They know that if Greece’s banking system collapses, there will be a domino effect.”

Meanwhile Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker are likely to speak by phone in an attempt to break the deadlock over a cash-for-reforms deal for Greece, a Greek state minister said on Saturday.

Juncker has been seen as more sympathetic to Greece’s position in the standoff over Greece’s debt, although he reportedly warned Athens last week not to rely on him to avert a collapse in the debt talks. Euro zone leaders will hold an emergency summit on Monday.

“I am among those who believe that we are heading towards a solution,” State Minister Alekos Flabouraris told Greek Mega television in a morning news show.

Asked whether there would be a teleconference on Saturday, he said: “I believe that there will be one. It has not been arranged yet. Tsipras is flying back from Moscow. He will be in Athens after 1230 (0930 GMT). I believe that some kind of communication will be sought (by Juncker) in the evening hours.”

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