'If Greece's banking system collapses, there will be a domino effect'

Greece flag athensReutersA Greek national flag flutters next to a statue of ancient Greek goddess Athena, in Athens May 21, 2015.

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.”

(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Janet Lawrence; writing by Matthias Williams)

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This article originally appeared at Reuters. Copyright 2015. Follow Reuters on Twitter.

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