I had no doubt Donald Trump would win, just like I had no doubt Brexit would happen, so maybe I’m not as shell-shocked as you,” says Yanis Varoufakis. The former Greek finance minister is speaking to me several days after the Republican candidate’s historic victory. He doesn’t sound smug about being so prescient, more resigned, deflated, defeated. The left has been here before. Continue reading
[Originally published in Zocalo]
British citizens took to the polls to cast their “Leave” ballots—and their grievances—in the now-infamous Brexit vote last June, seeking to escape the overarching power of the European Union. Their triumph stunned British and global elites, but shouldn’t have; the odds were stacked in the Leave camp’s favor.
A few weeks ago, Stefan Aust, Die Welt’s editor and formerly the heart and soul of Der Spiegel, paid me a visit at our Aegina house. We spoke for a good two hours on Europe, Germany, Greece and, of course, DiEM25. It was a serious, pleasant and at times passionate discussion. On 14th August the article-interview was published. For Die Welt’s site click here. (For the longer version of the interview, as published, in pdf form click: Page 1 & Page 2) Alternatively… Continue reading
Athens daily Kathimerini published a letter signed by 23 ‘US-educated Greeks’ sent to the University of Texas’ President denouncing James K. Galbraith (a long-standing professor there) for having helped me design a “monetary cum military coup d’etat”. At least that was their description of my Plan X – a preliminary contingency plan to counter the European Central Bank’s Plan Z with which Greece is being threatened continually since 2012 – see the Financial Times report here. Once more, the victims of the troika’s six-year-old coup d’etat, which has pushed the Greek people into a vortex of Depression and Insolvency, are being portrayed as coup plotters. The purpose of this campaign, in which Kathimerini has played an energetic role, is to vilify anyone who resisted the troika, who did her or his duty to defend Greece’s democracy, and who continues to argue that the only way to end Greece’s crisis is to oppose the troika. What is new here, with the letter of the 23, is a new violation – this time of the most basic of academic principles: “Never criticise a text that you have not read!” As Galbraith demonstrates in his response to Kathimerini (see below), the 23 ‘US-educated Greeks’ based their denunciation letter on misinformation peddled by, amongst others, Kathimerini – e.g. the preposterous allegation that Plan X included a plot to arrest the Governor of the Bank of Greece. To read Galbraith response…
To listen, click here
You have read about the most recent IMF confession over its immolation of Greece. The question is: Does it signal a change in policies? Do not hold your breath! Recent history is pointing to a repetition of the crime-against-logic first committed in 2012 – an IMF tactic of confessing to the sin in order to repeat it with impunity! Continue reading
James K. Galbraith, a founding DiEM25 member, writes exclusively on DiEM25’s site about his latest book and his contribution to the first SYRIZA government’s Plan X – a defensive plan to be activated if Greece’s creditors made good of their threat to throw Greece out of the euro in response to the new government’s determination to re-negotiate the troika’s failed ‘Greek program’. Yesterday, on the first anniversary of the courageous OXI vote of the Greek people, the Greek oligarchic media were trying to exploit Galbraith’s book in order to have Yanis Varoufakis indicted, censured or, simply, vilified. Their venom against OXI and Varoufakis is proof that the memory of the Athens Spring still haunts them. In the article below, James K. Galbraith makes it abundantly clear: The team working in the Finance Ministry, under Varoufakis, was the only side during the 2015 negotiation that did its duty fully and diligently to serve Greece’s democracy, uphold its Constitution and reclaim its national sovereignty. Alas, following the crushing of the Athens Spring, a full-scale campaign of vilifying the righteous remains active. DiEM25 invites all European democrats to remain vigilant: the attempt to crush the spirit of the Athens Spring, which remains alive and well in Greece despite last year’s defeat, will damage permanently the prospects of a democratic Europe.
On 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 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
In 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.
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