Chancellor George Osborne has raised the question of whether the shock of Greek departure from the euro may be needed in order to persuade Germany to sign up to the measures needed to secure the survival of the single currency.
Mr Osborne said he did not know whether the Greek exit was in fact necessary to pave the way for the establishment of a eurozone banking union and eurobonds.
But the fact that he was ready to discuss the prospect days ahead of the re-run Greek elections on June 17 will raise eyebrows across Europe and risk stoking tensions with the eurozone.
Speaking at a CEO Summit hosted by The Times in London, the Chancellor also voiced frustration over the 100 billion euro bailout of Spanish banks.
An initial surge in the markets after the announcement of the deal faded away amid uncertainty about the exposure of Spain's government to increased debt.
And Mr Osborne said it was "depressing" that the eurozone authorities did not take advice that they should recapitalise banks directly, rather than funnelling support through the state.
According to reports from the summit published by the Times, the Chancellor was asked whether he believed the euro would survive.
He responded: "I ultimately don't know whether Greece needs to leave the euro in order for the eurozone to do the things necessary to make their currency survive.
"I just don't know whether the German government requires Greek exit to explain to their public why they need to do certain things like a banking union, eurobonds and things in common with that.
"I would suspect that if you had a eurozone finance minister here, they wouldn't really know the answer to that."