Theodoros Pangalos, deputy prime minister, said Germany had no right to reproach Greece for anything after it devastated the country under the Nazi occupation, which left 300,000 dead. "They took away the gold that was in the Bank of Greece, and they never gave it back. They shouldn't complain so much about stealing and not being very specific about economic dealings," he told the BBC.
Twisting the knife further, he said the current crop of EU leaders were of "very poor quality" and had botched this month's crisis summit in Brussels. "The people who are managing the fortunes of Europe were not up to the task," he said.
One banker said the situation was surreal. "How can they call the Germans incompetent Nazis and still expect a bail-out?"
Mr Panagalos has gone even further than premier George Papandreou, who said Greece had become a "guinea pig" for squabbling eurocracts playing power games.'