Venizelos sees ‘existential crisis’ after Oct. 28 protests

Reacting to protests across the country during a national holiday on Friday, prompted by popular frustration against the socialist government’s belt-tightening measures, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Monday spoke of a «moral and existential crisis» that jeopardizes social solidarity in the debt-wrecked nation.

Protesters caused the cancellation on Friday of the annual military parade in Thessaloniki marking Greece?s rejection of Italy?s request to stand aside during World War II, and of several smaller parades across the country.

Writing for Ta Nea daily on Monday, Venizelos criticized those who fail to distinguish between political confrontation and respect for the nation’s historical memory.

?This is not just an economic or fiscal crisis. It is a moral and existential one [crisis],? Venizelos wrote adding that the situation «is putting our social and national cohesion to the test.?

The finance minister blamed Friday’s controversial protests on a ?large section of our political representatives and opinion makers who refuse to live up to their responsibilities.?

Socialist officials have accused Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) of instigating the unprecedented protests which the opposition party has described a ?spontaneous intervention by the people.?

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