Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday offered his "official and unequivocal" assurance that the Greek banking system was not at risk, following the latest downgrade in Greece's credit rating by Fitch Ratings.
"There is no problem with the Greek banking system. It is absolutely covered and secure. There is not and will not be any problem of security and financing," he said in Parliament.
According to Venizelos, who earlier ruled out any prospect of default, the latest rating downgrade did not have any real impact on Greek banks, nor would the announcement of the stress test results for European banks under a scenario of extreme crisis on Friday.
"There is absolutely no problem. My assurance is institutional, official and unequivocal," he said.
He repeated that Greek banks were protected by mechanisms within the euro-system, that included Greece's central bank.
"If some people try to translate the term 'selective default' in a way that is populist, irresponsible and petty party political, I repeat that this is not a real situation, this is not a credit event, it is not default or bankruptcy or cessation of payments, it is a temporary rating of Greek bonds that instead of being at the grade CCC or DDD are at the rating SD (selective default) for a time," he said.
The minister particularly emphasised the importance of an appearance of unity between Greece's political parties, noting that the main opposition's assistance in the appointment of the members of the Privatisation Fund Admistrative Council was viewed by Eurogroup members as having equal significance as the attack on Italy.
"We are not leaving anything to chance. We are moving with safety and as we must. The support must be absolute, not without the right to criticism, not without party arguments. We are not asking parties to change their fundamental political platform but that there be phases where everything is done with unity, consistency and surgical precision. This is the phase we are going through," he added.
According to Venizelos, a positive attitude could also become a real economic event and the country could help itself through the proper behaviour and attitude.
"This is how we will win national cohesion and social justice. Because the citizens do not believe that balance and justice is ensured. And this will happen. We need a little time. A little vital time in order to do everything we have said in relation to the national taxation system, which will be the basis of the new model of growth," he said.