In an appeal for unity among political parties and society in general, Venizelos insisted that austerity was the only possible way forward.
"Those who support ... another solution, but don't say what that solution is, or those who support a solution of an exit from the euro, return to the drachma, a solution of a default, are not offering any help to the Greek citizen," he said. "Those who criticize us because we are taking difficult decisions by cutting salaries and pensions, or reducing income and living standards, do not understand that with their reaction, their blind and myopic reaction, they are endangering the income, the pensions, the salaries, living standards which can suddenly collapse."
It is not only from within Greece that there is opposition to the country's bailout program.
Some European politicians have grown tired of Greece repeatedly missing budget targets and failing to implement promised cuts, reforms and sales of state assets. There are also concerns that the second bailout may not be enough to lift Greece out of its steep recession — its economy shrank 7 percent in the final quarter of 2011 from a year earlier — and leave it with a manageable debt load.
"There are many in the eurozone who don't want us any more," Venizelos told the country's president, Karolos Papoulias, earlier in the day.
Greece, Venizelos added, had to persuade the skeptics that the country could stay in the currency union and regain lost ground in reforming its economy.
"We are facing a situation that is particular because we are constantly being given new terms and conditions," he said.
In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, sharply rejected a question about market rumors that Germany has decided a Greek bankruptcy is acceptable.
"I can say very clearly for the German government that these rumors are wrong — there is no such decision by Germany," he said.
Becatoros reported from Athens, Greece. Derek Gatopoulos and Nicholas Paphitis in Athens, Geir Moulson in Berlin and Raf Casert in Brussels contributed.
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