In a new twist on the Greek debt blame-game, a Greek minister accused the European Union of allowing his country to slide into a debt crisis.

People should remember that European institutions have been monitoring the Greek economy since 2004, but even Greek citizens did not know the real figures of the Greek economy until 2009, Tourism Minister Pavlos Yeroulanos told the BBC.

He added the EU had teamed up with the Greek government who did not want the figures shown at the time.

The comments come as more private investors have signed up to a crucial debt swap deal set to make or break the country's continued use of the euro and its membership of the EU. No comment on Yeroulanos' statement was immediately available from EU officials.

According to The Wall Street Journal, 39.3 percent of bondholders have agreed to exchange their Greek government bonds for new debt.

But with 70 percent needed before the Thursday 8 pm (GMT) deadline, analysts are still unsure if Greece will avoid a messy and financially devastating debt default.

In order for the deal to work, 90 percent of bond holders need to agree to the swap, but if 70 percent voluntarily agree to the deal then the others could be forced to go along with the writedown.

What happened between 2004 and 2009? Yeroulanos asked.

Either the EU was not doing the job correctly or it knew what the situation was and hid it.

Echoing calls from economists, he added that instead of austerity-oriented conditions, Greece should be allowed to focus on investment and much-needed structural reform.

The most important thing in Greece right now is all the structural reform that is reducing bureaucracy, that is fighting against corruption, that is creating a business environment in which foreign investment can come in and flourish, he said.

Once that happens, then you will start seeing the creation of jobs that will increase the revenues of the government and that will sustain the debt much more long term.