GREECE’S new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has urged Germany not to humiliate the country over its debts.
Varoufakis compared Greece’s plight with that of inter-war Germany, speaking ahead of a meeting with his German counterpart.
Germany was burdened with massive debts after World War One and threatened by hyperinflation, crippling its economy.
Varoufakis has been touring European capitals this week to win support for Greece’s plan to restructure its debt.
In an interview with German ARD television, Varoufakis said: ‘I think of the countries in Europe, the Germans best understand this simple message.
‘If you humiliate a proud nation for too long and subject it to the worry of a debt deflation crisis, without light at the end of a tunnel then things come to the boil.’
The comparison is likely to send a clear message to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble ahead of his meeting with Varoufakis on Thursday.
Germany is seen as the strongest opponent among eurozone countries to any reduction of Greece’s 323bn euro (£242bn/$369bn) debt.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out any cancellation of the debt, which is about 175% of Greece’s GDP, saying lenders had already made concessions.
The Greek stock market fell sharply on Thursday after the European Central Bank (ECB) said it would refuse to accept Greek bonds in return for lending.
As Varoufakis prepared to meet Schaeuble, the new Greek parliament was sworn in in Athens.
Among those taking the oath were 17 members of the fascist Golden Dawn, including a number who were released from custody for the parliamentary session.
Greek judges indicted 72 people with links to Golden Dawn on Wednesday, including its leader Nikos Michaloliakos, on charges including murder.