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
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
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.
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.
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