MICHAEL O’Leary believes that the Greeks have elected "a bunch of lunatics" to rule them, and that the Greek people need to stop drinking coffee and get back to work.
The Ryanair CEO was giving his forthright views on Newstalk’s The Right Hook. The budget airline is currently in talks with the Greek government about carrying Greek passengers free of charge for the next two weeks — because people cannot use credit cards to book flights.
"We're one of the largest investors in Greece at the moment, we're one of the few European companies that's actually growing strongly in Greece,” he said.
But Mr O’Leary told Newstalk’s George Hook that the problems in Greece are not likely to be solved any time soon: “There is a fundamental problem in Greece that 52% of households in Greece depend on pensions as their main source of income but only 11% of Greek people pay tax.
"Now that’s a circle you’re never going to close, more Greeks have to pay tax, you have to close off the black market and less Greeks have to be able to live off pensions.
“You can’t have an economy that functions that way. “More people have to be productive, yes elderly people and young people need help. “If you are of a working age, go out and work.”
The Ryanair CEO's comments come as the Greek government forced banks to stay closed to the public until next week, with ATM withdrawals limited to $60 per person per day.