Gov't spokesman criticizes IMF chief; announces job openings

The spokesman for the caretaker Greek government on Tuesday blasted the head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde for comments made in an interview over the weekend, and announced the creation of 45,000 short-contract jobs.

"The Greek people have suffered incredibly heavy sacrifices over the past few years and deserve everyone's respect,» Tsiodras said in response to comments where Lagarde suggested that Greeks were suffering payback for living well in previous years.

Following more than 10,000 negative comments on her Facebook page and backlash from Greece's political leadership after Saturday's interview with The Guardian, Lagarde issued a new statement late on Saturday to qualify her comments and said she was ?very sympathetic to the Greek people and the challenges they are facing.? She added that a comment regarding rife tax evasion in Greece was a reference especially to ?the most privileged.?

Tsiodras also assured that the government was taking steps to make sure that Greece has enough money to pay pensions and salaries, adding that efforts are being made to further curb state spending and boost revenues.

He added that 45,000 new jobs will be created later in the summer in social and environmental organizations, but said that they would be based on five-month contracts.