Econintersect: Former Greece finance minister Yanis Varoufakis was interviewed last week by the Madrid newspaper El Pais. Claudi Perez conducted the interview. The article ran Sunday 02 August. While the article was published in Spanish, a full english transcript has been provided by Mr. Varoufakis. See later.
Mr. Perez asked about the “plan B” which has been getting so much attention and has led political opponents of the Syriza government to formally charge Mr. Varoufakis (YV) with treason. YV summarized what had been done as a screen shot in the transcript:
When asked about the plan to have Greece operating under Troika guidance until all loans are repaid in 2050, YV replied ( to the assertion that the Troika would be in Athens until 2050):
No, they won’t. Because this agreement doesn’t have a future. It is continuing the extending and pretending charade: extending the crisis with new unsustainable loans, and pretending that this solves the problem… It can’t go on forever. You can fool the people and the markets for a short period of time, but in the end you can’t fool them for fifty years. Either Europe changes, and this process is replaced by something more democratic, and durable, manageable, humanistic. Or Europe will no longer exist as a Monetary Union.
YV repeated his accusation seen several times in past weeks:
This is a program designed to fail. And so it will fail. It’s not easy for an architect to build a solid building, but it’s easy for him or her to construct a building that will collapse. Anyone can do it. It was planned to fail, because, let’s face it: Wolfgang Schauble is not interested in an agreement that works. He categorically stated that he wanted to redesign the eurozone and part of that redesign is that Greece should be thrown out of the eurozone. I think that he is completely mistaken but nevertheless this is his plan and he is a very powerful player. One of the great fallacies at the moment is to present the deal imposed on our government on 12th July as an alternative to Schauble’s plan. I see things differently: This deal is a part of the Schauble plan. Of course, this is not the conventional wisdom.
When asked about Spain’s situation compared to Greece resulted in another screen shot graphic:
The interview spends a lot of time on the tactics used on Greece during the negotiation, comparisons to mafia, criminals, terrorism, waterboarding, etc. According to YV some of the words were never used and others were lifted from context and paraphrased which distorted their original meaning and intent entirely. He has very candid in comments about some of the chief “players” in the Eurogroup with whom he interacted, both personally and professionally. Some may surprise many who read them.
The interview concluded with with a question and brief answer about German Chancellor Andrea Merkel and the future of the Eurogroup:
Q: You said once that the legacy of Thatcher was financialization, malls and Tony Blair. And I ask you, what is the legacy of Merkel, of her leadership?
A: Europe is in the process of turning from a realm of shared prosperity, which is how we imagined it, into an iron cage for our peoples. I hope that Mrs Merkel decides that this is not a legacy she wants to leave behind.
Note: Sources are linked throughout the article.