The Spectre of Democracy haunts Europe – in conversation with Phillip Adams, Late Night Live, ABC Radio National 26th Aug 2015

In discussion with Phillip Adams, on my favourite radio program (LNL), on my recent Frangy address/manifesto for a campaign to Democratise the Eurozone as well as, of course, on the forthcoming snal Greek election.

The Athens Spring lives on! Speech at Frangy-en-Bresse, with Arnaud Montebourg

On Sunday 23th August, I joined forces with Arnaud Montembourg in Frangy-en-Bresse (or Frangy-en-Grece as it was renamed for the day!) to put forward to the people of France a simple message: There is no alternative but the democratisation of the Eurozone! For the full text of my speech click here. And for a translation in French by Monica M., click here.

YV and Arnaud

The Greek Plan for Growth & Recovery: Two documents the Ministry of Finance tabled in May and June 2015

Now that Greece’s Third Memorandum of Understanding has passed (see here for my annotated version), after the SYRIZA government surrendered on 12th July 2015, it is perhaps of interest to compare the ‘Reform Agenda’ in that agreement with the agenda the Ministry of Finance had presented to the institutions on two occasions, in May and June 2015. Continue reading

My question to Christine Lagarde, Eurogroup 25th June 2015 – as narrated by Landon Thomas in the NYT

During the 25th June 2015 Eurogroup, the institutions presented me, in the form of an effective utlimatum, with a comprehensive staff level agreement and funding plan (which I considered financially non-viable). It was the deal that Prime Minister Tsipras decided, on the following day, to put to the Greek people in the form of the now infamous referendum. During that Eurogroup meeting, I posed a question to Christine Lagarde: “Is it the view of the IMF that Greece’s debt is sustainable under the proposed agreement?” Ms Lagarde, when her turn came to speak, tried to skrt the issue but, in the end, conceded that Greece’s public debt “had to be looked at again”. At that point, the Eurogroup President Dijsselbloem interrupted the proceedings and addressed me with the express threat that, if the Greek government insisted on discussing a debt restructure, there would be no deal. I shall have a lot more to say on this and related matters in due course. For now, here is how Landon Thomas Jr narrates this story in his recent NYT piece.

Continue reading

Greece’s Third MoU (Memorandum of Understading) annotated by Yanis Varoufakis

The Third Greek MoU is now enshrined in Greek Law. Written in troika-speak it is almost impossible to decypher by those not speaking this unappetising language. Click here for the complete MoU text annotated liberally by yours truly – in pdf form. It is best read in conjunction with my annotated version of the EuroSummit Agreement of 12th July.

Vindicated, while Lagarde emerges a loser? – David Marsh in MarketWatch

In his Monday column on MarketWatch David Marsh entitled his opinion piece: “Varoufakis vidicated, while Lagarde emerges as a loser”. Of course the point is not whether I have, or have not, been vindicated. The crucial issue concerns the viability, or otherwise, of the latest Greek deal. From day 1 I have been arguing that Ms Christine Lagarde has an interest in a negotiating impasse (between Greece and its creditors) so that she does not have to confess to the simple fact that the IMF’s staff will rebel if she signs another unsustainable loan agreement with a country whose debt is as unpayable as they come. For David’s analysis, read on… Continue reading

Death by Debt: My Response to The German Finance Ministry, by Jeffrey Sachs

Dr. Ludger Schuknecht, senior economist at the Germany Finance Ministry, explains his ministry’s viewpoint regarding Greece. This viewpoint essentially holds that Eurozone countries should live within their means; adjust to their debt burdens; and take their reform medicine as needed. If they do so, they will be successful, as illustrated by Ireland, Spain, and Portugal. Greece has only itself to blame, and indeed was on track to recover as of late 2014 if it had not deviated from its course.   Continue reading

Something is rotten in the eurozone kingdom – my op-ed in the Financial Times

Plan would have eased Greece’s chronic liquidity shortage, writes Yanis Varoufakis in the Financial Times.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis arrives to make a statement in Athens, Greece, in this July 5, 2015 file picture. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis announced his resignation on July 6, 2015, a day after Greeks delivered a resounding 'No' to the conditions of a rescue package. In a statement, Varoufakis said he had been "made aware" that some members of the euro zone considered him unwelcome at meetings of finance ministers, "an idea the prime minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement." REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/Files

paradox lurks in the foundations of the eurozone. Governments in the monetary union lack a central bank that has their back, while the central bank lacks a government to support it. Continue reading

A Most Peculiar Friendship

Crises sever old bonds. But they also forge splendid new friendships. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 17:  Former Cabinet Minister Lord Norman Lamont leaves the Ceremonial funeral of former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher at St Paul's Cathedral on April 17, 2013 in London, England. Dignitaries from around the world today join Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as the United Kingdom pays tribute to former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher during a Ceremonial funeral with military honours at St Paul's Cathedral. Lady Thatcher, who died last week, was the first British female Prime Minister and served from 1979 to 1990.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Over the past months one such friendship has struck me as a marvellous reflection of the new possibilities that Europe’s crisis has spawned.

When I was living in Britain, between 1978 and 1988, Lord (then Norman) Lamont represented everything that I opposed. Even though I appreciated Margaret Thatcher’s candour, her regime stood for everything I resisted. Indeed, there was hardly a demonstration against her government that I failed to join; the pinnacle being the 1984 miners’ strike that engulfed me on a daily basis, in all its bitterness and glory. Continue reading