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'What the Troika is doing with Greece has a name – terrorism'

“Why did they force us to close the banks? To instill fear in people. And spreading fear is called terrorism.”

Updated 3.22pm

Greece Bailout Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis puts on his motorbike helmet as he leaves his office in Athens. Source: Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP/Press Association Images

GREEK FINANCE MINISTER Yanis Varoufakis has accused Athens’ creditors of “terrorism” in an interview published today, a day before Greeks vote in a high-stakes referendum on their bailout.

“What they’re doing with Greece has a name — terrorism,” the blunt-spoken Varoufakis told the Spanish El Mundo daily.

“What Brussels and the troika want today is for the ‘yes’ (vote) to win so they could humiliate the Greeks.”

Referring to the IMF, European Central Bank and European Union, he said:

Why did they force us to close the banks? To instill fear in people. And spreading fear is called terrorism.

After failing to reach a deal with its creditors last weekend on an extension of its bailout programme Greece’s radical leftist government closed the country’s banks and imposed capital controls until July 6.

Varoufakis said that whatever the result of Sunday’s vote, in which the government is calling for a ‘no’ vote, the banks would reopen and Athens would end up reaching an accord with its creditors.

“Europe needs an agreement, Greece needs an agreement, meaning we will reach an agreement,” he said, reiterating a pledge to resign if the ‘yes’ vote carried the day.

He was forced to deny a Financial Times report that suggested Greek savers could lose 30 percent of their bank deposits to shore up the banking system, slamming it a “malicious rumour”.

Greece Solidarity Protest. Pictured Ka Katerina Efstathiou from Greece living in Dublin joined protesters from the Greece Solidarity Movement. Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Closer to home, hundreds of people took part in a demonstration outside the Central Bank in Dublin to show support for the Greek people.

The Greek Solidarity Committee is called for a No vote in tomorrow’s referendum.

Greece Solidarity Protest. Pictured pr Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

The demonstration moved from the Central Bank to Dawson Street to protest outside the Dáil and the European Commission offices.

RTÉ News reports as many as 2,000 people were in attendance.

The most recent polls suggested Sunday’s plebiscite on Greece’s latest bailout offer was too close to call, with the nation of 11 million people evenly divided.

EU leaders have warned that a “No” victory could cause Greece to crash out of the eurozone.

A defiant Tsipras told 25,000 cheering supporters at Friday’s rally to “say ‘No’ to ultimatums and to turn your back on those who would terrorise you,” adding: “No one can ignore this passion and optimism.”

Greece Bailout The rally last night. Source: Thanassis Stavrakis

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty is travelling to Greece today on the invite of Syriza.

“Sinn Féin stands in solidarity with the people of Greece and firmly against austerity,” he said in a statement last night.

“The actions of the Troika in relation to Greece in recent months have been akin to those of the schoolboy bully.

“Unfortunately, our own government and Michael Noonan in particular has not only stood with the bullyboys but actually put the boot in himself when the opportunity arose.

Anti Water Charges Campaigns Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

While other European leaders are trying to paint this as an in out referendum the truth is that this is a choice voting accepting a bailout package that will further damage the Greek economy or on the other hand strengthening the hand of the Greek government in further negotiations.

Rumours that capital controls imposed by the government were leading to food and medicine shortages were spooking Greeks, as was growing uncertainty over when the country’s banks would re-open.

“I’ve heard shops are running out of flour, sugar and salt. I’m really worried, how will we manage if we can’t get to our money and there’s no food to buy?” said Lena Antoniou, a 35-year old mother of two.

Fresh ATM queues snaked along pavements Saturday morning, with many faces drawn or pinched with anxiety as voters confessed they thought Sunday’s referendum was going to be an extremely tight race.

- © AFP, 2015. Additional reporting by Nicky Ryan. Originally published 12.30pm.

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