The anniversary of the troika-imposed capital controls on Greece and the struggle to save Europe

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.44.05.pngOn the anniversary of the troika imposed capital controls on Greece, the struggle of the Greek people has become the struggle to save Europe – from the DiEM25 site

A year has passed since the troika and the ECB closed the Greek banks and imposed capital controls. During the same time, the same culprits are trying to lay the blame for their blatant violation of a monetary union’s logic on the Athens Spring and the Greek people’s determination to escape from the five-year long debt-bondage.

Let we forget, Continue reading

The fake & the actual choice Europeans face – by Slavoj Žižek

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Slavoj Žižek, philosopher, friend and DiEM25 early signatory, writes on the DiEM25 site that Europeans face one fake and one actual choice. The fake choice is between :(1) a globalised, financialised version of capitalism that is run by a transnational technocracy, tolerates minorities and turns parliamentary democracy into an empty shell, and (2) a xenophobic, socially conservative, passionate nativism that invokes national democratic sovereignty only to forsake it soon after. The real, actual choice is between (A) a vicious cycle between (1) & (2) above and (B) a pan-European democratic project addressing the actual challenges humanity faces (e.g. the deflationary moment in our history, the inexorable devaluation of human labour, TTIP like attacks on sovereignty, climate change etc.). Click here for the full article.

Full transcript of the Yanis Varoufakis | Noam Chomsky NYPL discussion

The full transcript of my discussion with Noam Chomsky at the New York Public Library (26th April 2016) was just sent to me by Kelly Patrick Gerling. I thank him profusely. Here it is, just below the video window

April 26, 2016, LIVE from the New York Public Library, http://www.nypl.org/live, Celeste Bartos Forum

YANIS VAROUFAKIS: Good evening, we don’t have anyone to introduce us, so I’ve been asked to kick off by saying firstly that isn’t this wonderful that we are all here just to subvert the notion that nothing good can come out of the public sector? (laughter) Noam.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, the fact that I’m here, barely, actually has a relationship to that comment. I came from Boston, my wife and I came from Boston, it took seven hours, and any society that hasn’t been smashed by neoliberal policies of the kind you describe, it would have taken maybe an hour and a half, two hours. (laughter) There is a train, the pride of the public sector, which I took for the first time in 1950, and it’s about fifteen minutes faster now than it was then, (laughter) when it makes the schedule, which is a chancy situation, so we decided to come by airplane and spent most of the afternoon on the runway. Continue reading

Mantener la unidad de la izquierda de manera progresista y eficaz -Público.es

Yanis Varoufakis
Economista y exministro de Finanzas de Grecia

La experiencia de Syriza pesa en la conciencia colectiva de la izquierda europea. Es importante que aprendamos de esta experiencia y resurjamos más unidos, progresistas y eficaces en la tan apremiante como necesaria consecución de una agenda paneuropea humanista.

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Brexit and Spain: Interviewed by El Diario

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Yanis Varufakis en la redacción de eldiario.es

Yanis Varufakis en la redacción de eldiario.es en una foto de archivo

Yanis Varufakis, exministro de Finanzas de Grecia, nos atiende desde Roma en un día en el que su teléfono no para de sonar con periodistas de todo el mundo recabando su opinión. Su movimiento DiEM25 está enfocado a lograr “la redemocratización de la UE” e interpretan el Brexit como un triunfo de la Troika.

¿Qué análisis de urgencia haría ante el resultado del referéndum?

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The Right Left for Europe: In response to leftwing Brexiters, Grexiters etc. – Project Syndicate Op-Ed

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ATHENS – The United Kingdom’s referendum on whether to leave the European Union created odd bedfellows – and some odder adversaries. As Tory turned mercilessly against Tory, the schism in the Conservative establishment received much attention. But a parallel (thankfully more civilized) split afflicted my side: the left.

Having campaigned against “Leave” for several months in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, it was inevitable that I faced criticism from left-wing supporters of “Brexit,” or “Lexit” as it came to be known. [For the rest of the article click here]

A discussion worth revisiting at this historic post-Brexit juncture

Today is a historic day. Post-Brexit the EU is entering a new, furious phase of disintegration. DiEM25’s initial response can be read here. Tomorrow I sum up my reaction in two articles (one in The Guardian and one in Project Syndicate – plus a Greek one in Εφημερίδα των Συντακτών). Till then I think it useful to revisit the 26th April discussion I was honoured to have with Noam Chomsky at the New York Public Library.

Mr Stournaras’ New Deal: Too late, too cynical

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 07.41.11.pngScreen Shot 2016-06-14 at 07.41.00.pngIn April 2015 I was vilified for refusing to bow to the troika’s demands for a ridiculously high 3.5% primary surplus and for countering the creditors’ failed ‘program’ with a growth plan dubbed A New Deal for Greece. Not only was I vilified by the troika but I had to deal with a Governor of the Bank of Greece who was fully in cahoots with the troika, backing the creditors rejection of my New Deal proposals and even claiming that my insistence on A New Deal cost Greece 85 billion euros! Yesterday, the good Governor wrote in the FT that Greece needs a… New Deal, effectively regurgitating my proposals from last year. As for the technical details of the two proposals, I let the reader decide which was superior: our technical proposals (worked out jointly with Jeff Sachs and Lazard) or those coming out now from the Bank of Greece?

Some will say better late than never. Others may think that the manner in which this poacher is so shamelessly turning gamekeeper is an important reason why Europeans are turning their backs to a European Union so badly served by its functionaries.

Six economists on Brexit – interviews by Vikas Shah

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 10.39.44.pngBy: Professor Vikas S. Shah, Thought Economics
June 11th, 2016 – Download this paper as a PDF here , or click here for the original site at thoughteconomics.com

On June 23, 2016 the people of the United Kingdom will be asked the single most important political question in modern history, “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?” The ‘European Question’ is not a simple one.  The population is being asked to distil hundreds of years of geopolitics, economics, culture, conflict, treaties and more into a simple ‘yes or no’ decision against a backdrop of exaggerated arguments, scare-tactics and misinformation (on both sides).  The decision we (as citizens) make will not only impact many future generations of our own, but in this hyper-connected global world; it will have repercussions wider than we could possibly predict. Continue reading

The ECB’s Illusory Independence – Project Syndicate op-ed

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 Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 12.31.15.pngATHENS – A commitment to the independence of central banks is a vital part of the creed that “serious” policymakers are expected to uphold (privatization, labor-market “flexibility,” and so on).
But what are central banks meant to be independent of?
The answer seems obvious: governments. In this sense, the European Central Bank is the quintessentially independent central bank: No single government stands behind it, and it is expressly prohibited from standing behind any of the national governments whose central bank it is. And yet the ECB is the least independent central bank in the developed world —- To continue reading click here

GREECE’S ENDLESS LOOP OF DOOM – full version of New York Times op-ed

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On 31st May 2016 the New York Times published the op-ed below (under a title that is unfortunate and not my choice). (For the NYT site, click here.) The version below is the original and contained graphs and data that could not be fitted in the printed version. (You can also download a pdf of the full article here.)
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Athens — After last summer, when the clash between Greece’s recently elected Syriza government and the insolvent state’s creditors ended, the world’s media moved on. The brief rebellion against the austerity measures imposed on Greece was snuffed out in July 2015 when Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras folded. Continue reading

Brexit is an empire-era trick. Only the radical case for Europe makes sense – in The Guardian

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‘Sovereignty is dear to our hearts. We reject the notion that Britain must settle for diminished sovereignty as the price of global influence.’ 

Referendums can throw up some odd bedfellows. But there is nothing odd about the company descending on London today to present the radical case for keeping Britain in the EU.

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