EUROPEAN Central Bank officials are considering a scenario where Greece is unable to pay back its public debt.
Governing council member Klaas Knot is the first eurozone central banker to warn outright about a Greek default.
Until recently, European leaders have rejected any chance of this happening.
But Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad asked Mr Knot about a Greek default and he admitted it was being studied.
"It is one of the scenarios. I'm not saying that Greece will not go bankrupt," he said.
"I've long been convinced that bankruptcy is not necessary. The news from Athens, however, is at times not encouraging."