Berlin: Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Sunday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel “holds the key” to resolving his country’s crisis, while stressing Athens remains open to further talks with international creditors.

“The EU leaders must act. And among them she, as the representative of the most important country, holds the key in her hand. I hope she uses it,” he told Germany’s Bild newspaper.

He added that Athens was ready for “new proposals by the institutions” — the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund — ahead of a Greek referendum on bailout terms set for next weekend.

“As far as we are concerned, we remain ready to negotiate in the time in which the people must reach their assessment” before July 5, he said in pre-released excerpts of an article from Monday’s edition.

Varoufakis said Athens had called the referendum because it rejected the terms for more bailout money demanded by the creditors.

“We couldn’t agree to the proposal, but we also couldn’t simply reject it, given the importance of the matter for the future of Greece,” he said.

“So we decided to turn to the citizens, to explain our negative attitude to it, but to give them the choice.”

If Greece receives proposals that are “significantly better” than the previous ones, he said, “then we can change our recommendation at any time and suggest to the electorate to vote for them”.