The government's ineptitude and neglect was reflected in the 'picture' seen throughout the country, main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras asserted on Wednesday during a tour of western Thessaloniki.

Visiting local authorities and mayors in the region, he was briefed on the area's problems and took a walk down the local high street.

Samaras said that Greece had reached a critical phase when the economic problem had become deeply social and every political party had an obligation to stand at the side of citizens. He called for the support of the unemployed, pensioners, the poor and the social classes worst hit by the crisis.

"In the last three months we experienced a recession of the order of 6.6 percent, which hadn't seen in this country after the Second World War," he said.

He noted that when there was a lack of income and therefore no consumption, combined with a lack of state spending or investments, then markets came to a complete standstill. "Shops are closing and the market has 'dried up' while the government does not appear to want to deal with the problem," he said.

The present government had one and only one course, Samaras emphasised, which was the one set for it by the Memorandum.

"It has not at all considered the possibilities that might exist even within the Memorandum, if it had negotiated for this. It is not possible to overcome the problem of your financial robustness by the 'execution' of thousands of new unemployed every day, especially when this chiefly reflects the problem for young people," ND's leader said, noting that this created a "sick psychology" and injured society's cohesion.