Greece's creditor countries should "waive a portion of the Greek debt", Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, said Friday.
As Greece resumed talks with banks and insurers on an elusive deal for a major debt writedown to escape looming default, Juncker told Austria's Standard newspaper that countries should ask themselves "whether public aid may be needed".
The Luxembourg prime minister said the aim of reducing Greece's deficit to 120 percent of gross domestic product -- the level deemed desirable by the International Monetary Fund and a condition for further aid -- could not be "fully achieved" through the waiver of private debt only.
The third round of talks between Athens and private creditors aims to reach agreement on a voluntary exchange of bonds that would wipe 100 billion euros ($130 billion) off the country's debt of 350 billion euros.
The Private Sector Involvement deal under discussion would see private creditors take a "haircut" of at least 50 percent on the 200 billion euros in debt they hold.
Two previous rounds of talks have snagged on the amount of interest to be paid on the remaining debt.
The European Central Bank, which holds around 45 billion euros' worth of Greek bonds, has so far ignored calls for it to also accept losses.