Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras late Monday rejected an allegation made by a senior official of the European Central Bank (ECB) that Greece is facing a "significant fiscal gap."
"There is no significant fiscal gap," Stournaras told reporters after a meeting of euro area finance ministers, while admitting that, "We do have fiscal challenges, always."
Greece is "on course to post a budget surplus excluding interest payments," he added.
The remarks were made in response to ECB Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen, who urged Greece earlier Monday in Luxembourg to take measures to plug a hole in its 2014 budget plan.
A financing gap of five billion euros (about 6.8 billion U.S. dollars) to 6 billion euros has opened in the second half of 2014 under Greece's international rescue program, said the ECB official.
"It's first and foremost important that they close their significant fiscal gap that is there for the next year," he added.
The Greek finance minister put the financing gap in the second half of next year at "around 5 billion euros," and said that the eurozone finance ministers had an "initial discussion" about it at their meeting.
Stournaras said all options are being considered to plug the hole and he expected a decision in late December.
While Asmussen said "there is absolutely no way that it can be done in a way of roll-over bond," Stournaras said, "All the ideas came on the table. Nothing is off the table."