The government was "absent" from developments, was not negotiating anything and even its own members were not being briefed about what was going on, main opposition New Democracy spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis said on Tuesday, attacking the government's stance and inaction during the ongoing debate about a haircut of Greek debt. He accused the government of presenting a picture of confusion, with Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos contradicting government spokesman Ilias Mossialos on the same issues.

"Which of the two is lying? Venizelos who claims to know about the talk on a debt haircut or Mossialos, who categorically states that no such issue has been put to the government?"

Mihelakis noted that the government spokesman had already revealed on October 5 that the discussion about a higher debt haircut was being carried out without Greece's involvement, insisting that neither the prime minister nor any part of the government had participated in such discussions and that no such issue had been raised in Papandreou's talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Concerning ND's own position, Mihelakis said that "the ideal would be to implement the decisions of July 21" and that any other discussion should also assess the impact on banks and the social insurance funds. He stressed that ND could not express any other opinion without having being briefed and also noted that this discussion was damaging.

The spokesman referred to a question on rising crime rates tabled in Parliament by ND leader Antonis Samaras on Monday, noting that crime had reached unprecedented levels, with armed robberies a daily occurrence, people murdered for a handful of euros and armed break-ins into people's homes.

"The government bears huge responsibility and the prime minister cannot remain silent on this issue," he stressed.