June 28, 2011
Greece will be committing “suicide” if its parliament fails to back sweeping austerity measures aimed at averting a catastrophic default, according to the head of the country’s central bank.
The stark warning by George Provopoulos, governor of the Bank of Greece, further heightened the stakes ahead of a knife-edge vote on Wednesday in the Greek parliament.
It came as Athens’ police fired tear gas after protests at the severity of the measures imposed by the European Union and International Monetary Fund turned violent.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Mr Provopoulos expressed concern that Greece’s economic crisis had been played down by politicians over the past 18 months as the country lurched towards a possible default.
“We have never really had a debate in this country about what went wrong. In Portugal the new government has come in and said that there will be a difficult two years ahead. We have not had that kind of talk here,” he said.