Germany warns of Grexit with EU patience "running out"

Joe Hall
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Alexis Tsipras has struggled to reach a compromise with Greece's creditors (Source: Getty)

Germany's economy minister and vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has warned Greece that its exit from the euro is becoming increasingly likely.

In a Bild magazine column, Gabriel argued that EU countries were losing patience with slow-moving talks between Greece and its creditors.

Gabriel wrote:

Everywhere in Europe, the sentiment is growing that enough is enough. The shadow of a Greek exit from the eurozone is becoming increasingly perceptible. Greece's game theorists are gambling the future of their country. And Europe's too.

Read more: I’m finally convinced – a Grexit really could happen

The comments came as talks between Greek ministers and EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) representatives collapsed after just 45 minutes according to reports, increasing the risk that Greece could default on its €1.5bn (£1.7bn) debt repayment to the IMF due this month.

Creditors want Greece to cut public spending on taxes and pensions, but little compromise has been reached as the anti-austerity Syriza digs its heels in over "red lines" it will not cross.

Gabriel warned in his column that the indebted country was running the risk of leaving the euro with time and patience running out.

Yesterday Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis dismissed such concerns telling the BBC: "I don't believe any sensible European bureaucrat or politician will go down that road."

Update: According to reports, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told his closest aides today he is ready to reach a compromise: "If we have a viable agreement, no matter how difficult the compromise, we will bear the burden".

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