In this interview with the former finance minister of Greece and founder of DiEM25 (Democracy in Europe Movement 2025), Yanis Varoufakis, a host of issues are discussed which include privatization, human rights, media, his experience with the EU and capitalism’s ability to reform.
- Will privatization schemes, that are being implemented by the Troika, benefit the Greek people?
- Is the “Memorandum of Understanding” signed by the Greek government last year following the OXI vote compatible with the “Declaration of Human Rights”?
- What should the left do to counter the attacks of the centrist-right media?
- What can Varoufakis tell us about the negotiations, which were barred from the public discussion , that he held with the Troika?
- Is capitalism reformable?
All of these questions are addressed in the video here.
Notable quotes from the interview:
Yanis Varoufakis on the privatization schemes in Greece:
No Greek government since 2010 has owned its economic and social reform policy agenda – leads to colonial type deals which in the end do not benefit the economy and make the people of the country feel that effectively they have been reduced and exploited and this is never a good feeling to have when you want to reform a country.
Yanis Varoufakis on the issue of writing off Greek debt:
let’s not forget that Germany was given an opportunity to pick itself up from the boot straps in 1953, only due to the American’s insistence that the London Conference in 1953 should write off more than 60% of German debt in order to allow this country to fulfill the speech of hope that secretary Barnes issued in Stuttgart. If we condemn a whole generation to permanent poverty because of debts that should have never been accumulated, we are doing a major disservice to Europe.
Yanis Varoufakis on the negotiations that he held with the Troika in 2016 as the Greek finance minister:
I even proposed a debt break, which is a very German thing and it was ignored. Look let’s be clear about this – there was never any intention by the other side to reach a normal agreement with us. The only objective was to humiliate a government that dared say to their face that the program that the troika had been implementing for the last 5 years in Greece had failed. It’s that simple. It was naked power politics of the 19th century type.
Yanis Varoufakis on the establishment:
If you have an agenda in favour of redistributing from profits to wages, if you have an agenda for taxing the top 0.1% ,in order to bolster low pensions – you have an uphill battle, because there is a “triangle of sin” ,as I call it, that is going to oppose you to the end, which is perfectly normal and perfectly natural. The triangle comprises: The media owners, the banking establishment financial sector and those who have a very cosy relationship with the state in terms of procurement and development and so on and so forth.