markel

Ralph Atkins

German chancellor Angela Merkel’s hard-line stance on Greece has come under attack from a top European Central Bank policymaker, who warned that the cost of inaction could be far worse than offering temporary financial support.

The unusually strong criticism by Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, an ECB executive board member, highlighted frustration in Frankfurt at Berlin’s intransigence, which is threatening a showdown among eurozone political leaders at their summit in Brussels starting on Friday.