"If we want to avoid bankruptcy and for the country to stop being blackmailed and humiliated, we must undertake crucial decisions," he said on Sunday, after briefing Cabinet members over developments at the informal Eurogroup meeting on Sunday in Poland.
"We must meet fiscal targets and achieve a primary surplus in order to proceed immediately with all reforms," he said, adding that a "fluid situation prevails in Europe and internationally, which creates multiple problems and allows profiteers to wage attacks against the heart of the euro."
He also said that during the tense situation it is crucial for Greece not to become the scapegoat.
Venizelos began his televised comments with an attack against main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, saying that he was negatively surprised with what Samaras said in Thessaloniki during his address at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).
Opposition parties react to Venizelos' statements
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos' televised press conference on Sunday drew a series of sharp reactions from opposition parties.
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis called Venizelos' address 'delirious' for attributing, as the former claimed, the government's economic policy failure to politicians and journalists "who dare to disagree with the government's views."
"What we are hearing is unprecedented, their policy has failed and others are responsible. The prime minister's visit to United States has been postponed, an extraordinary Cabinet meeting took place and up to now the only result was an unbelievable attack against ND leader Antonis Samaras," he said, adding:
"If Mr. Venizelos believes that each time he contacts Mr. Samaras he will obtain the main opposition's silence, he must be living in other periods and under other regimes. They are undertaking measures, which then prove unproductive, and then say that ND is responsible. The government is teetering; Mr. Venizelos is on a rampage and Mr. Papandreou is hiding behind his vice-president, and the people do not believe their eyes".
Communist Party (KKE) referred to "blackmail" against the working people, while the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S) said Venizelos' address was held "under huge stress". Synaspismos said the government is exercising a policy that leads the country to default.
FinMin contacts with Samaras, opposition leaders
On Saturday Venizelos spoke by phone with Samaras, following an initiative by the former.
According to ND sources, Venizelos detailed the prevailing difficulties and the critical juncture for the country, ahead of the implementation of the July 21 Eurozone council decisions.
Venizelos later spoke by phone with Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S) leader George Karatzaferis, briefing him on the situation after a Eurozone meeting in Poland.
According to LA.O.S sources, Karatzaferis proposed snap elections in case the government and main opposition New Democracy (ND) do not reach a consensus.
Finally, Venizelos briefed Coalition of the Left (SYN) leader Alexis Tsipras in a telephone call late Saturday night on the latest developments concerning the Greek economy following an informal Eurogroup and Ecofin meeting earlier in the day in Wroclaw, Poland, and the cancellation of Prime Minister George Papandreou's scheduled visit to the US.
According to sources, Venizelos outlined the climate he met at the Eurogroup-Ecofin meeting in Wroclaw, intimating that new collection measures could be required as difficulties were ascertained in collecting the extraordinary surtax on real estate announced by the government last week, among other problems.
Tsipras -- who was in Spain for the Spanish Communist Party festival -- replied to Venizelos that the Greek society's endurance has been exhausted from the constant taxation, the same sources said.