Greece was jeopardising its continued membership of the eurozone unless the country agreed with the tough measures demanded by its EU-IMF creditors, Greek European Commissioner Maria Damanaki, responsible for maritime affairs and fisheries, warned on Wednesday.
"The greatest achievement of post-war Greece, the euro and the country's European course are at risk," Damanaki said, adding that the scenario for removing Greece from the euro area and the ways of bringing this about "are now on the table".
"I am obliged to speak openly. We have a historic responsi-bility to clearly see the dilemma: either we agree with our lenders to a programme of tough sacrifices with results, taking responsibility for our past, or we return to the drachma," she stressed.
European Commission spokesman on Greece and eurozone
European Commission press spokesman for economic issues Amadeu Altafaj, called on to comment on a statement made on Wednesday by Greek Commissioner Maria Damanaki, said that at the eurozone's Council of ministers, where all issues concerning the single currency are discussed, no member-state has raised to date an issue of Greece's exit, or of whatever other country, from the eurozone.
Opposition party reactions to Damaniaki's statements on Greece and eurozone
A statement by Greece's EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki referring to the country's remaining in the eurozone drew reaction from opposition parties.
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis said "it is a great mistake for some to want to turn an economic problem into a problem of institutions. Dilemmas such as 'inside or outside Europe' and 'inside or outside the euro' not only do not help, but create confusion and harm the country seriously."
The Coalition's press office also stressed in an announcement that "Mrs. Damanaki's statements today, which reproduce yesterday's (Tuesday) position of the SEV (Federation of Hellenic Enterprises) president, are part of a wider planning, taht aim at creating a climate of intimidation of the people and their trapping in false dilemmas. They want to conceal the criminal responsibilities of the government for its antipopular policy and to facilitate the looting of public property and of society."