The government had resorted to "open, obscene blackmail" by placing people before the dilemma of either accepting its harsh austerity policies or going bankrupt and returning to the drachma, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga told a press conference in the city of Larissa on Thursday.
She was commenting on a statement made Wednesday by Greece's European Commissioner Maria Damanaki, in charge of the fisheries portfolio.

Papariga also questioned whether Damanaki had made the statement entirely on her own initiative or after consulting with the ruling PASOK party in Greece.

She further dismissed as "shameful" and "blackmail" a proposal made by the head of the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEV) Dimitris Daskalopoulos for a referendum on the proposed measures.

According to KKE's leader, the process of default had begun and the Greek people were already bankrupt. She urged people to resist a storm of new measures on the way but also the extortionist dilemmas set before them both official and unofficially.

Papariga said that developments were not only stripping entitlements won over decades but creating a modern barbarity that was an evolution of capitalism and enlisted a form of terrorism based on the fear of losing one's job.