Furious Greek citizens have attacked Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), after she accused some of "trying to escape tax."
In an interview on Friday, Lagarde reportedly said: "As far as Athens is concerned, I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time. All these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax.
"I think they should also help themselves collectively."
She added: "I think more of the little kids from a school in a little village in Niger who get teaching two hours a day, sharing one chair for three of them, and who are very keen to get an education. I have them in my mind all the time.
"Because I think they need even more help than the people in Athens."
When asked if she was saying to the Greeks that it was now payback time, Lagarde (pictured) said: "That's right."
However, she has since had to respond via Facebook with a message of support for the Greek people, after her page on the social networking website was bombarded with 10,000 messages, many of them obscene.
She wrote on her wall she was "very sympathetic to the Greek people and the challenges they are facing".
A new Facebook page entitled "Greeks are against Lagarde" has now sprung up, and Greek politicians are similarly enraged. Socialist party leader Evangelos Venizelos reportedly claims she has "insulted the Greek people".
The backlash came as Greece's former prime minister warned the country could run out of money by the end of June if bailout funds are withdrawn after next month's election.
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