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4 Jul, 2015 14:24

Varoufakis accuses Greece’s creditors of ‘terrorism’ ahead of crucial referendum

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has described the actions of Athens’ creditors as “terrorism,” but said agreement with them was inevitable in an interview published hours before a landmark referendum to accept or reject the bailout terms.

“What they are doing with Greece has a name: terrorism,” Varoufakis told Spain’s El Mundo daily. Why have they forced us to close the banks? To make people frightened. And when it comes to spreading terror, this phenomenon is called terrorism.”

Varoufakis said he believed Brussels and the Troika of creditors wanted the people to says “Yes” to the bailout terms, so that “they could humiliate the Greeks.”

READ MORE: ‘Vote No, stay in euro’: Varoufakis gives 6 reasons why Greece should scramble bailout

He also warned that Greece’s exit from the Eurozone is something the EU cannot afford.

"As much for Greece as for Europe, I'm sure," Varoufakis said in the interview. "If Greece crashes, a trillion euros (the equivalent of Spain's GDP) will be lost. It's too much money and I don't believe Europe could allow it."

Other EU members, however, argue they would easily survive a possible Grexit.

"For Europe, this would be easy to manage economically,” Austria's Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling told online newspaper Die Presse, Reuters reports. “For Greece, it would indeed be considerably more dramatic.”

The minister, however, cautioned against exaggerating the extent of economic hardship awaiting Greece in case it leaves the Eurozone.

"There's a propaganda war going on here. It's exaggerated to think that all the Greeks will have to live in the streets or won't have access to medical care," he said.

READ MORE: From ‘historic vote’ for Greece's Syriza to #Greferendum: INTERACTIVE TIMELINE

Varoufakis said he believed that no matter what results of the referendum will be, Greece will have an agreement with creditors by Monday.

Europe needs an agreement, Greece needs an agreement, so we will reach an agreement. What happens is that if “Yes” wins in the referendum, we will have not just a bad deal, but an absolutely disastrous one.”

Holding political rallies in Greece is banned in the last 24 hours before Sunday’s referendum.

Thousands of “Yes” and “No” supporters had a chance to join huge rival rallies in Athens on Friday. That’s where Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras also resorted to the word “terrorism,” escalating the rhetoric ahead of the vote.

You should not be scared of the terrorism of recent days,” Tsipras said, addressing the “No” crowd.

RT’s Ilya Petrenko went to both “Yes” and “No” rallies to hear people in both camps defending their stance with equal vigour.

Five months ago when this government got elected, everyone was behind it, they were hoping for better days,” a young man at a “Yes” vote rally said. “Five months later what have they done? They have only worsened the situation.”

We don’t want to be slaves anymore, slaves to Europe, slaves to Germany, we have to say no,” said a man at the “No” rally. “It’s for our future, for our kids.”

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that a “temporary” Greek exit from the euro zone was possible.

"Greece is a member of the Eurozone. There's no doubt about that. Whether with the euro or temporarily without it: only the Greeks can answer this question. And it is clear that we will not leave the people in the lurch," he said, Reuters reports.

On July 5 the Greek people will say either “Yes” or “No” to bailout terms set by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund at a meeting of the Eurogroup on June 25, 2015.

On Wednesday, Greece defaulted on a €1.6 billion debt payment to the IMF that was due in June. Athens will have to make another major payment of €3.5 billion to the ECB on July 20.