Greece’s two currencies – Project Syndicate Op-Ed

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ATHENS – Imagine a depositor in the US state of Arizona being permitted to withdraw only small amounts of cash weekly and facing restrictions on how much money he or she could wire to a bank account in California. Such capital controls, if they ever came about, would spell the end of the dollar as a single currency, because such constraints are utterly incompatible with a monetary union. Greece today (and Cyprus before it) offers a case study of how capital controls bifurcate a currency and distort business incentives. The process is straightforward. Once euro deposits are imprisoned within a national banking system, the currency essentially splits in two: bank euros (BE) and paper, or free, euros (FE). Suddenly, an informal exchange rate between the two currencies emerges. Read more here

Jacobin’s Illustrated Interview – Europeans seem ready for a new kind of politics

Jacobin 2Jacobin Magazine honoured me with the publication of an interview that I gave to  Francisco de Zarate, journalist and comic writer with the Argentine newspaper Clarin, and illustrated by Fernando Calvi. Thank you Francisco, Fernando and Jacobin. Click here for Jacobin’s site


Stories of 2015: Yanis Varoufakis – in The Guardian, 24th DEC 2015

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Screen Shot 2015-12-25 at 08.58.43Screen Shot 2015-12-25 at 08.58.53The year 2015 did not begin – or end – as Yanis Varoufakis might have predicted. This time last year, having finished a busy academic term at the University of Texas in Austin where he was a visiting professor in economics, he had flown to Australia for a holiday. Varoufakis has a teenage daughter with his first wife – the pair now live in Sydney – and he was hoping, as he puts it, “to have a quiet time”.

For the Guardian’s site, click here. Or…

Continue reading

On Spain, Greece, Italy and our plans for a European movement to democratise the EU – Interview: L’Espresso

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The English text of the answers I sent to L’Espresso follows. The interview covers the Spanish elections, the latest from Greece’s never ending depression and, more importantly, a foreshadowing of the pan-European movement (not party!) that will be launched in February – with a simple, but radical, agenda of democratising the EU. Continue reading

My vote for person of 2015

We are in the silly season of incessant list compilations – best movie of the year, worst dressed culture minister of the year, etc. Nonetheless, these rankings appeal to us because there is something to be said about looking back and taking stock. TIME magazine’s selection of Chancellor Merkel as its Person of the Year generated much debate.

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It also generated many questions to me, from journalists the world over, on what I thought of Mrs Merkel’s selection and whom I would have voted for.

So, here is my answer:  Continue reading

#THIS IS A COUP – My comments on Paul Mason’s documentary

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Paul Mason’s recently released four-part documentary #THIS IS A COUP, on the crushing of the Athens Spring, offers much food for thought. Paul and I have had many opportunities to discuss the issues it covers, including on stage in London in front of a magnificent audience. When the time comes, I shall publish my full account. But for now, here are some comments for each one of the four episodes, culminating to a general comment at the very end – see below. Continue reading

A Greek Drama (a BBC Radio Play) – My 10 factual corrections

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As I am a central character in this dramatisation of the five month-long standoff between our government and the Eurogroup/Troika, I am loath to offer a critical review. However, it may be useful to listeners (but also to the BBC’s production team) to correct some factual errors. Continue reading

Address at the Cambridge Union, 26 OCT 2015 – full video

On 26th October 2015 I had the pleasure of addressing the Cambridge Union on the theme: THE EURO CRISIS THROUGH THE LENS OF THE CAMBRIDGE TRADITION. The Union has just posted a video of the event. Also, click below for an audio version and here for a video of my talk at the Oxford Union, delivered only three days previously.


Refugees, Europe & the Australian Economy – Q&A debate, ABC tv, 23 NOV 2015

Q&A ABC tv Episode 43 – 23/11/2015
23 November 2015


  • Yanis Varoufakis, Former finance minister of Greece
  • Greg Hunt, Australia’s Minister for the Environment
  • Geraldine Brooks, Author and journalist
  • Anthony Albanese, Australia’s Shadow Infrastructure Minister
  • Judith Sloan, Businesswoman, Academic and Columnist
  • Tasneem Chopra, Chair, Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights.