Transparency Everywhere! My fees and the troika’s latest vilification drive

Since my resignation from the finance ministry, in protest at our government’s capitulation to the troika, I have been spending my time and energy to transfer the spirit of the Athens Spring to the heart of Europe – to promote the urgent need to shine the light of transparency on Europe’s decision making as a prerequisite to tackling Europe’s gargantuan democratic deficit.

In practice, this meant endless travel, and more than twenty appearances in different European cities over the space of a couple of months. As expected, the same troika-friendly media that attempted to vilify the Athens Spring during our tug-of-war with the troika also invested effort in vilifying my latest endeavours. After all, nothing upsets the powers-that-be in Brussels, Frankfurt, etc. more than the exposure of their deep contempt for democratic principles and practice.

Beginning with some Greek media outlets which have an impecable record of defamation (e.g. a grubby newspaper that ‘reported’, during my ministry, that I was conspiring with a Singaporean company to make Bitcoin Greece’s currency), a fresh campaign of vilification has begun the purpose of which is to portray my recent efforts, and travels, as part of a self-enrichment drive. Continue reading

Schäuble’s Gathering Storm – my Project Syndicate op-ed

Schauble-VaroufakisATHENS – Europe’s crisis is poised to enter its most dangerous phase. After forcing Greece to accept another “extend-and-pretend” bailout agreement, fresh battle lines are being drawn. And, with the refugee influx exposing the damage caused by divergent economic prospects and sky-high youth unemployment in Europe’s periphery, the ramifications are ominous, as recent statements by three European politicians – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble – have made clear.

Renzi has come close to demolishing, at least rhetorically, the fiscal rules that Germany has defended for so long. In a remarkable act of defiance, he threatened that if the European Commission rejected Italy’s national budget, he would re-submit it without change.

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Barcelona 15th October 2015 – in conversation with Monica Terribas

YV and Monica at the Barcelona talkFOREX NEWS kindly took notes of the main points of my conversation with Monica Terribas at the El Born Cultural Centre in Barcelona. I used their notes as a template for notes that I superimposed – see below. To watch the video of the discussion, click here.

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Greece without illusions – op-ed in Project Syndicate

b85ad19aa07a53832e74a323f95f77ea.landscapeLargeATHENS – “The costliest minor government reshuffle in Greece’s history.” That is at least one way to describe the result of the Greek general election on September 20. Indeed, with few exceptions, the same ministers have returned to the same offices as part of an administration backed by the same odd pair of parties (the left-wing Syriza and the smaller right-wing Independent Greeks), which received only a slightly lower share of the vote than the previous administration. But the appearance of continuity is misleading. While the percentage of voters backing the government is relatively unchanged, 1.6 million of the 6.1 million Greeks who voted in the July 5 referendum on continued “extend-and-pretend” loans with stringent austerity strings attached did not turn out. The loss of so many voters in little more than two months reflects the electorate’s dramatic change in mood – from passionate to glum… Continue reading here