Prime Minister Lucas Papademos said on Friday Greece may need a third bailout package if the sweeping austerity measures demanded by its international creditors fail to stabilise its shattered economy and restore market confidence.
It was the first time Papademos publicly confronted his people with the risk, already mooted by wary EU, IMF and German officials, that the austerity programme might fall through if they don't try hard enough.
His remarks were seen as an encouragement to support pro-bailout parties in a snap election expected on May 6.
"Greece will do everything possible to make a third adjustment programme unnecessary," Papademos told Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore, according to a transcript of his remarks. "Having said that, markets may not be accessible by Greece even if it has implemented fully all measures agreed on.
"It cannot be excluded that some financial support may be necessary, but we must try hard to avoid such an outcome."