The European Union's financial affairs chief Pierre Moscovici warned in a magazine against underestimating the risks associated with Greece leaving the euro zone, saying such a step could be the beginning of the end for the common currency.
"After all, all of us in Europe probably agree that a Grexit would be a catastrophe - for the Greek economy, but also for the euro zone as a whole," the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs told German magazine Der Spiegel in an advance copy of an interview due to be published on Saturday.
"If one country leaves this (monetary) union, the markets will immediately ask which country is next, and that could be the beginning of the end," Moscovici warned.
His comments come one day after German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said publicly during a visit in Vienna that Greece might stumble out of the euro zone because its leaders had failed to negotiate new borrowings.
Follow us on Twitter: @CNBCWorld