33 thoughts on “‘We’ve made hope return to Europe’ – in conversation with Paul Mason on Ch4

  1. “Defiant Greeks reject EU demands as Syriza readies IOU currency” — by A E-P

    Top Syriza officials say they are considering drastic steps to boost liquidity and shore up the banking system, should the ECB refuse to give the country enough breathing room for a fresh talks.

    “If necessary, we will issue parallel liquidity and California-style IOU’s, in an electronic form. We should have done it a week ago,” said Yanis Varoufakis, the finance minister.

    They were called “registered warrants” (the fancy name IOUs; bonds basically) back in 2008-9. Pretty smart as they are a substitute to conventional funding. Can be used for payment of taxes and fines at all government levels. Therefore, good as euros and … made in Greece!

    Spend first, tax later 😉


  2. One has to give credit to channel 4 for publicizing unedited camera footage of the interview, at least on youtube – and of course to Minister Varoufakis for again serving transparency and democracy by posting it here.

    Although it must be said that by talking about the european tax-payers demanding their money back, Mr Mason commits the same mistake – intentionally or not – that we have seen made by many politicians opposed to the Syriza government and repeated over and over again by journalists all over the continent without question.

    The electorates of Lithuania, Slovakia or other poor member countries under the yoke of austerity programmes imposed upon them by national governments who appear to be willing to sell their own mothers in order to please their german overlords, are being repeatedly abused as a bargaining chip by the conservative elites who obviously would sacrifice eleven million greeks in order to maintain an unsustainable economic model that puts the wealth of a small elite over the welfare of the people.

    If the people of other member states – even the germans – were given the same kind of information Mr Varoufakis and his allies are so desperately trying to make known to the greater public, they would probably chase these hypocrites out of office or at least vote ‘no’ to the programmes if they had the chance to do so.

    Unfortunately, the neoliberal propaganda machine is running red-hot while inverting reality and building the legend of a united europe, represented by the 18 creditors, that is defending european democracy and unity against the self-serving greek agents of chaos and destruction.

    I wish Syriza all the best for today and a giant, crushing “Oxi!” to the german government and the rest of the hypocrites!

    • Martin Schultz just said that if the Greeks vote NO, then they must chose a different national currency. What sort of terrorism is this?

    • As far as I know except for a hand full of leftist intellectuals and economists only the left party (“Die Linke”) have been fully supporting the greek right to say no to austerity. Which is no surprise, since they have been backing Syriza from the start.

      By the way, I think congratiulations might be in order now, so:

    • “The electorates of Lithuania, Slovakia or other poor member countries under the yoke of austerity programmes imposed upon them by national governments who appear to be willing to sell their own mothers in order to please their german overlords”

      Could it be that these electorates actually agree with their governments? Or is any opposition inherently unfair?

    • Dean:

      “What sort of terrorism is this?”

      It is terrorism in the same way that the decision of Canadian coffee chain Tim Horton’s to sell steeped tea is rape, that is to say, not at all.

      Words have meaning. Abandon that, and you may as well be saying nothing at all.

    • @ Randy McDonald

      Of course I cannot speak for people in other countries. What I know is that people from all over eastern and southern Europe are migrating to Germany because they can’t find decent jobs in their home countries anymore.

      In my Berlin neighbourhood, English and Spanish have become almost official Languages. And I know for a fact that many of these migrants do not live here because they enjoy our famous german hospitality and laid-back attitude. Many of them can barely afford to pay the rent and still prefer to live here rather than in their home countries. And almost anyone I talk to tells me that they see no future there anymore. But maybe I just happen to talk to the wrong people.

      What I am absolutely certain about is that the majority of my fellow germans did not vote for Ms Merkel because they really think that she does a good job, but because they literally see no alternative and because they think of her as the least of all possible evils.
      The ruling coalition holds almost 80% of parliament seats and can literally do whatever it wants and they still seem paralyzed when it comes to renewing a crumbling infrastructure, improving education or fighting social inequality – which is rising faster here than in almost any other european country – all due to Mr Schäuble’s holy crusade for a zero budget deficit. Turnout during state and communal elections is almost down to 50% on average. German domestic policy is a joke and everybody knows it – even the roughly 35% of potential voters who actually voted for Ms Merkel.

      The german government and its associated media machine, which is either controlled by the government itself or privately owned by six major media corporations under the ownership of a few super-rich families, have done a tremendous job of making it clear to the electorate that any deviation from the chosen path of government debt reduction, labour market deregulation, low wages and high profits (i.e. austerity and supply-side economic policy) will result in the immediate downfall of the german economy, and the loss of our precious current account surplus.
      The latter is widely regarded as a mark of excellency for the german export industry rather than as a result of almost twenty years of reducing unit labour costs through wage suppression and thereby shrinking imports into a domestic market that is crippled by low aggregate demand, combined with a common currency that is grossly undervalued – from a german point of view.
      But these things are not openly discussed and the electorate really has no choice but to succumb to Ms Merkel’s TINA policy simply because they lack the information enabling them to even hope that there actually might be an alternative.
      The only thing keeping my country together is fear. And it is fueled by good old german agitation and propaganda.

      Since I don’t speak many languages I can’t really tell if this kind of fearmongering and grave omission of economic facts is also practised in, let’s say Slovakia, but I really can’t imagine it otherwise. Please prove me wrong if you can.

      No matter what happens to Syriza now, they have done a great service to european democracy by breaking that vicious cycle of fear and giving people hope that there might still be an alternative and I hope that this can incite people all over Europe to stop blindly believing what they are told by the elites and start thinking for themselves.

  3. I’ve now seen what seems to be a number of differently edited-versions of this interview. I’d like to see the full video. The back-and-forth and the context do seem to matter.

    • Did you not get the memo (albeit an absurd one), TD?

      “This is a Greek referendum, not a European one.” The Irish need not concern themselves.

    • Last greek
      Yes, I saw that absurd memo and immediately deleted it.
      So much for today’s ‘Europe’ being all about ‘oneness’ and ‘unity’.

    • Thank you for the link. I wish there were a lot more such rallies across Europe in support for their fellow EU member Greece.

      Btw… as was recently noted by Yves Smith in NC, the Spanish party PODEMOS is no longer a left party — it has moved to the center. This explains why it basically kept silent on events in Greece this past week. Political expediency 😦

  4. Γιάνη, σταμάτα αυτή την τρέλα. Έχετε θέσει ένα παράλογο ερώτημα στο δημοψήφισμα. Κύριοι του Σύριζα σας παρακαλώ: Μη λησμονάτε τη χώρα μου http://wp.me/p5zzQG-9r

    • “Τους καλούς μου φίλους καλώ με φοβέρες και αίματα”.
      Όταν χρησιμοποιούμε στίχους από το “Αξιον Εστί” ως συναισθηματική υπόκρουση πολιτικών επιλογών καλό θα ήταν να γνωρίζουμε για ποιά εποχή γράφτηκε και, κυρίως, ποιά στάση και τρόπο ζωής εξυμνεί.

    • ΝΑΙ, συγγνώμη, ξέχασα οτι η κληρονομιά της αριστεράς ανήκει στον τελευταίο ‘επισημο’ εκφραστή της.

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