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

Spanish election campaign begins (and so does the smear campaign)

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Yes, the Spanish general election campaign has begun and the forces of regression have chosen to begin their smear campaign by targeting Ada Colau, the Mayor of Barcelona and one of DiEM25 initiators. The charge? That she spent local government money to bring me to Barcelona. Of course, that this is a lie does not concern the right wing Ciudadanos folk who, at once, profess to clean up politics and smear comrades like Ada Colau. Continue reading

Οn contemporary capitalism’s preposterous reversal of the truth

Thanks to Mark Carrigan for posting this (based on this article in The Guardian). “This isn’t a new idea” writes Mark,”but I’ve rarely encountered it expressed so concisely:

The idea that individuals create wealth and that all governments do is come along and tax them is what Varoufakis calls “a preposterous reversal of the truth”.

“There is an amazing myth in our enterprise culture that wealth is created individually and then appropriated by the state to be distributed.

“We are conceptualising what is happening in society as if we are an archipelago of Robinson Crusoes, everybody on an island, creating our own thing individually and then a boat comes along and collects it and redistributes it. It’s not true. We are not individual producers, we produce things collectively.”

He points to an iPhone. “This machine, inside of it, contains technologies that were created collectively. Not only through collaboration but a lot of public funding. Every single technology in there was created by government grant.”

And The Weak Suffer What They Must? Review in the Times Higher Education

Bread and water served as meal
Source: iStock
Written by the anti-austerity rebel economist and former finance minister in Greece’s Syriza government, this is not simply a book about the modern-day problems of Yanis Varoufakis’ native country. Neither is its object of study the plight of the eurozone. What this ambitious book aims to provide is a history of our entire global financial order – and not just in the present but for the past century.

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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

The radical case for the UK to stay in the EU – London DiEM25 event, 28th May 2016

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 09.20.21.pngOn 28th May, a landmark event took place in London – the largest event presenting the radical, progressive case for Britain to stay in the EU. Speakers included Yanis Varoufakis, Caroline Lucas MP, John McDonnell (MP and Shadow Chancellor) and many others. At the end of the event, all speakers signed THE LONDON DECLARATION. For full details of the event co-organised by DiEM25, Open Democracy and Another Europe is Possible, click here.

Transcript of Varoufakis’ speech follows: Continue reading

The London Declaration – Why we stay in the EU to change it

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 09.38.02.pngOn 28th May 2016, at the event organised by DiEM25, Open Democracy and Another Europe is Possible, the speakers signed THE LONDON DECLARATION. Signatories included: Yanis Varoufakis (DiEM25), Caroline Lucas (Green Party MP), John McDonnell (Labour MP & shadow chancellor), Clive Lewis (Labour MP & shadow climate), Owen Jones (author and activist), Anthony Barnett (openDemocracy), Sirio Canós Donnay (Podemos), Neal Lawson (Compass),  Zoe Gardner (migrants’ rights activist), Matt Wrack, (FBU general secretary), Caroline Hill (Young Labour chair).

For the text of The London Declaration, Continue reading