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Greece – The Day Democracy Died in Europe

By Peter Koenig


September 15, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - The Day Greece ‘capitulated’ – Monday, 13 July 2015 – “Greece is finished, hanging on the gallows”. Der Stern German Magazine.

The picture depicts the malicious joy of the power trio of the European Commission - Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s Finance Minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch Minister of Finance and President of the Eurogroup, and Sven Sester, Finance Minister of Estonia – on the day Greece ‘capitulated’. It is self-explanatory.

The interview with Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s former Minister of Finance, is in German – For Stern Magazine, with German Journalist, Arno Luik. Here is the link to it -

It is a lengthy interview over three days, in the apartment of the Varoufakis, in restaurants and cafés, at different times of day and night, including past midnight, many times interrupted by urgent phone calls, doorbell rings on Mr. Varoufakis to run to emergency meetings, conferences or to Parliament. His Syriza colleagues asked him to comment on hastily drafted lengthy (hundreds of pages) legislation in English (no Greek translation) by the unelected preposterous Eurogroup

 

that the Greek Parliament was requested, not recommended but ordered, to approve within 24 hours. They were not given a choice.

The dialogue was interspersed by conversations between Arno Luik and Varoufakis’ wife, Danae Stratou, an artist. She told the reporter about the tranquil life they had in Texas, where her husband was teaching at the University of Austin, until returning in January this year to Greece, when Yanis became suddenly Minister of Finance – and life changed drastically. She was happy that her husband resigned, but also knows that he will stay in politics.

Arno Luik showed Varoufakis the photo (above) that was taken immediately “after Prime Minister Tsipras accepted the rescue package.” – Varoufakis exclaimed – “This is not a rescue package! It is a dictate. Show me the photo. My God! That I haven’t seen before. I have to take a picture of it. It is unbelievable, how they are happy! – It is Monday, 13 July. Greece hangs on the gallows.”

With a series of provocative questions, even aggressive at times, reporter Luik essentially wanted to know what actually happened, why Tsipras didn’t respect the overwhelming OXI (NO) vote of the people on 5 July 2015, why there was no ‘Plan B’. Yanis Varoufakis had all kinds of explanations, the enormous pressure of the troika, the blackmailing, the European Central Bank (sic) would turn off the cash flow to Greek banks if Greece didn’t follow their dictate; they had an obligation to the poor pensioners to continue paying their pensions (30% reduced from previous austerity programs) – and this despite the repeated call finally also from the IMF for debt restructuring and even debt relief.
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In the end, Varoufakis never gave a clear and plausible answer to the question; in none of the many interviews I have heard, seen or read by him. There would have been alternatives, and there still are. – Fear? – According to a knowledgeable Greek source, who wants to remain nameless, there may have been death threats. John Perkins’ “The Economic Hit Man” comes to mind.

New elections are just a week away. Without a drastic – and fearless – change in political and economic thinking, Greece and for that matter the rest of Europe may just have reached the end of the rope.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik News, TeleSur, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! - Essays from the Resistance

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