In an article due to be published this Thursday in the German newspaper Die Zeit, the former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will accuse Germany of hiding the truth about its real aims for Europe as he asks: Dr Schäuble’s Plan for Europe: Do Europeans approve?
Just hours after the Greek referendum where voters backed his call to reject creditors’ demands for more austerity, Yanis Varoufakis announced he was standing down due to pressure from Greece’s ‘assorted partners’
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Varoufakis has written an op-ed in order to address Germany’s citizens directly. He will name German Finance Minister Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble as the man behind a conspiracy to re-structure the Eurozone in a way which favors banks over citizens and plutocracy over democracy.
Yanis Varoufakis was forced out of office earlier this month after his party Syriza called a referendum, asking the people of Greece whether they wanted to stay in the Eurozone (meaning more debt and more austerity) or say no to more bailout funds and face the consequences. The Greek people, tired of economic suffering at the hands of European bankers, voted against austerity and further cash injections from the Troika (the EC, ECB and IMF). This result was something which Varoufakis and Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras considered a victory- and yet hours later, Varoufakis had resigned, claiming that powerful figures within the Eurozone had refused to negotiate with Greece further while he was in office.
As an economist and a socialist who spoke passionately and intelligently on behalf of Greece’s weary citzens, Varoufakis was feared and loathed by bankers (but defiantly, he said he would wear their contempt “with pride”.) Now, just days before the German article goes to press, Varoufakis explains on his blog:
‘Five months of intense negotiations between Greece and the Eurogroup never had a chance of success. Condemned to lead to impasse, their purpose was to pave the ground for what Dr Schäuble had decided was ‘optimal’ well before our government was even elected: That Greece should be eased out of the Eurozone in order to discipline member-states resisting his very specific plan for re-structuring the Eurozone.’
More importantly, Varoufakis claims that Dr Schäuble told him directly that Greece’s exit (commonly known as ‘Grexit’) was part of this long term vision for Europe, and ‘this was the plan well before people’s party Syriza came to power in Greece.
Varoufakis wants to make it clear that people understand his position: ‘I wrote this article not as a Greek politician critical of the German press’ denigration of our sensible proposals, of Berlin’s refusal seriously to consider our moderate debt re-profiling plan, of the European Central Bank’s highly political decision to asphyxiate our government, of the Eurogroup’s decision to give the ECB the green light to shut down our banks’, he says, thinly masking his feelings on these critical issues. ‘I wrote this article as a European observing the unfolding of a particular Plan for Europe – Dr Schäuble’s Plan.’
An update with key points from the translated Die Zeit article will be added on Thursday as Varoufakis’s op-ed breaks.
The above Financial Times video from February this year documents a meeting between Schäuble and Varoufakis. The reporter notes how Schäuble has been “from the outset very hostile to attempts by Athens to re-write and scrap the existing agreement and to look for something new.” The two men were never going to agree: but now Varoufakis is out of the picture and Greece’s PM Tspiras has suddenly made a shocking U-turn on the referendum result (making huge concessions to Schäuble in what the Greek people have called “treason”), does this spell the end for people-powered politics in Greece?
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