George Osborne has floated the possibility that Greece might need to be sacrificed to save the euro after a fresh day of jitters on the world's financial markets saw Spain's long-term borrowing costs hit their highest level since the launch of the single currency.
In a highly unusual step, the chancellor suggested that Greece may have to leave the eurozone so Germany could convince voters that it was worth pouring more money into the troubled currency. Speaking at a summit of chief executives organised by the Times newspaper, Osborne said: "I ultimately don't know whether Greece needs to leave the euro in order for the eurozone to do the things necessary to make their currency survive.
"I just don't know whether the German government requires Greek exit to explain to their public why they need to do certain things like a banking union, eurobonds and things in common with that.
"I would suspect that if you had a eurozone finance minister here, they wouldn't really know the answer to that."