With a warning that Greece was only experiencing a "foretaste" of the real crisis that was to come and that the government was striving to avoid, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos stressed after a meeting with President Karolos Papoulias on Thursday that the way out of the crisis was "work, work, work".
"If we want to save the country and not live through scenes we have witnessed in documentaries about Latin American countries, we have to get our heads down and work. Because the miracle that will save the country is in the minds and hands of the Greeks," he underlined.
Venizelos said that each Greek family was now facing their own problems trying to make ends meet and to manage the family budget but that this was not the real crisis, just an effort to avoid the crisis.
"A crisis would be Argentina in 2000, with full dissolution of the economy, the institutions, the social fiber and the productive base of the country," he added.
The minister denied that references to Argentina's crisis were an attempt to blackmail Greeks, saying Greeks were "proud and didn't want to be humiliated" but to be properly informed, while those that "repeated the mistake of lying to the Greek people" were harming the country.
He also charged a lack of political and institutional level in the eurozone, adding that "the nervousness that exists in large countries of the eurozone -- for their own internal reasons -- lashes out on us".
Venizelos further stressed the need for absolutely meeting the country's obligations so that "arguments or alibis cannot be used at our expense".
"We cannot be made the scapegoat. We cannot be extorted by the markets and humiliated because we have a fiscal problem. The Greek people's pride cannot tolerate it," he added.
SYRIZA's Tsipras strongly reacts to FinMin's comments
Opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras on Thursday lashed out at Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos for his references to Argentina’s crisis, made during a meeting with Republic President Karolos Papoulias.
Speaking in the Parliament’s plenary session, Tsipras said “your government is unscrupulous, cynical and dangerous for the people.”
In response, Alternate Finance Minister Filippos Sahinidis underlined that “no Greek citizen should feel threatened”, adding that the government is law abiding and respects the democratic system.