Europe’s Ugly Future: A review of Varoufakis, Galbraith & Stiglitz – Foreign Affairs

Muddling Through Austerity

In This Review

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How do you solve a problem like Europe? Interviewed by Eurofinance

Friday 23/9/2016 (click here for the Eurofinance site & here for a related Keynote speech)

How long can Europe go on like this? In mid-July Germany sold €4.038bn of 10-year zero-coupon bonds with a yield of minus 0.05 per cent. This added a few more billions to the more than €4.25 trillion euros-worth of euro-zone government bonds that now carry a negative yield. These yields and the ECB’s €80-billion a month quantitative easing policy have now infected non-government markets. According to Bank of America, the highest-rated euro-denominated senior and secured debt of non-bank companies maturing in one to three years yield an average minus 0.08 percent. And there’s no obvious way out: at the ECB’s July meeting the bank kept the main refinancing rate and the deposit rate at record lows of zero and minus 0.4 per cent.

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The Independent on my Brexit proposal: Trigger Article 50 and agree a 5yr Norway-like transition period


Yanis Varoufakis has told the UK government to get a move on with triggering Article 50 to begin a “robust debate” on what a post-Brexit Britain could look like.

In an interview with the BBC’s Today programme, the former Greek finance minister, said the discussion prior to the referendum was of “very low quality”, adding that once article 50 is invoked Britain should use the negotiating period to prepare itself as nation. Continue reading

The Cambridge Union’s 2016 London Debate – Friday 23/9

Screen Shot 2016-09-21 at 07.11.07.pngYV at Cambridge Union.jpegVaroufakis’ speech last Michaelmas was thought to attract over a thousand students

[The following is re-posted from the Cambridge Union’s The Tab]

With the Autumn Statement of the new Government looming, the Cambridge Union takes over Inner Temple hall to question the dominance of austerity politics in the United Kingdom. Yanis Varoufakis, the ex-Greek Finance Minister, will be speaking in favour of the motion ‘This House has Lost Confidence in Austerity’. Joining him on the Proposition side will be former Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable and Lord Karan Bilimoria. Facing them across the floor on the Opposition bench will be the former Executive Director of Conservatives IN Charlotte Vere and Head of Public Policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, Ryan Bourne. The confirmation of Varoufakis will cause a slight switch-up for the Union’s President-Elect Kate Dunbar, who will move from the Proposition to the Opposition.  Continue reading

Joining forces! In reply to Stefano Fassina


Stefano Fassina points out that in my article ‘Europe’s Left After Brexit’ I did not discuss his preferred option for Eurozone member-states: Stay in the EU but leave the euro. Of course the reason my article did not discuss that position is that it was focusing on Brexit and addressing Lexiteers like Tariq Ali and Stathis Kouvelakis who are arguing, from a left-wing position, for leaving the EU altogether – i.e. Brexit-like moves. But I am more than happy to comment on Stefano’s preferred option (In the EU, Out of the Euro) here. Continue reading

Democratising Europe – a transnational project? A debate with openDemocracy

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Europe’s Left after Brexit

In reply to Tariq Ali, Stathis Kouvelakis, Vicente Navarro and Stefano Fassina on DiEM25’s plan for resisting within the European Union

Europe scared of the ballot box 2.jpg

Preface: This article (published in edited form in Jacobin, Neues Deutschland, Il Manifesto,  Mediapart and elsewhere) addresses left-wing critics of DiEM25 claiming that DiEM25 is pursuing the wrong objective (to democratise the EU) by means of a faulty strategy (focusing at the European rather than at the national level). This response, while addressed to left-wing supporters of Lexit (the strategy of calling for referenda in favour of leaving the EU, Brexit style), is pertinent also as questions raised often within the other political traditions that DiEM25 seeks to unite in the struggle to democratise Europe; i.e. authentic liberals, ecologists, feminists, members of pirate parties, activists unwilling to be embedded in existing parties, progressive conservatives even.[1]  Continue reading

KURIER: Österreichs Sozialdemokra­tie hat ihr Ende erreicht

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Der griechische Ex-Finanzminister sagt, der Geist Bruno Kreiskys sei verloren gegangen.

31.08.2016, 14:01
Der frühere griechische Finanzminister Gianis Varoufakis hat in Alpbach bei einem Pressegespräch auch zur österreichischen Innenpolitik Stellung genommen. Er kritisierte dabei die von den Sozialdemokraten übernommenen Inhalte rechter Politiker, wie die Errichtung neuer Grenzen. Damit sei das Ende der Sozialdemokratie, wie sie von Bruno Kreisky inspiriert worden sei, erreicht worden.

Zur bevorstehenden Bundespräsidentenwahl befragt, meinte der Linkspolitiker, es handle sich dabei nicht um ein Rennen zwischen einem linken und rechten Kandidaten. “Das wäre fantastisch”, so Varoufakis. Es gehe vielmehr um “Zivilisation” oder nicht. Als Europäer sei er beschämt darüber. Solche Reaktionen der Bevölkerung auf die Politik gebe es auch in anderen Ländern – von Ungarn, Griechenland, Polen, Frankreich oder auch in Großbritannien. “Es ist nicht die Schuld der Menschen”, so Varoufakis.

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Markets vs States in today’s Europe: An Alpbach Keynote Debate

Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 11.47.21.pngIn October 2015, I had the opportunity to debate, in Munich, Professor Hans Werner Sinn on the European Monetary Union and, more broadly, Europe’s economy . On 30 August 2016, at the Alpbach European Forum, I debated Professor Sinn’s successor as President of IFO, Professor Clemens Fuest. [Click here, or the image above, for video of the two keynotes and the debate.] This Alpbach Keynote Debate was organised along the lines of the following proposition/question

“The market economy is the best model. It will also successfully manage the challenges faced in the future.” Would you agree with this statement?

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