Discussing SYRIZA with Die Zeit

Syriza handelt verantwortungsvoll

Der deutsche Steuerzahler solle sich über die radikale Linke in Griechenland freuen, sagt der Ökonom Yanis Varoufakis im Interview. Das Land sei nicht reformunwillig.

ZEIT ONLINE:  Herr Varoufakis, die Griechen wollen mehrheitlich den Euro behalten, wählen aber mit Syriza und ihrem Spitzenkandidaten Alexis Tsipraseine Partei, deren Pläne zu einem Austritt aus der Währungsunion führen könnten . Wie passt das zusammen?

Yanis Varoufakis: Auch Syriza will, dass Griechenland im Euro-Raum verbleibt. Aber sie wollen gleichzeitig das Sparprogramm neu verhandeln, weil es nicht funktioniert. Das weiß mittlerweile fast jeder ökonomisch gebildete Mensch.

Vor zwei Wochen musste sich der griechische Staat beim Rettungsfonds EFSF4,2 Milliarden Euro zu einem Zinssatz von etwa vier Prozent leihen. Die Regierung reichte die Summe gleich an die Europäische Zentralbank weiter, um auslaufende griechische Staatsanleihen zu kaufen. Griechenland leiht sich also Geld bei einer Instanz der EU, um es sofort einer anderen EU-Instanz zu geben. Zugleich legt man dem Land Sparmaßnahmen auf , die es in den Ruin treiben. Wie soll Griechenland so jemals seine Schulden abtragen?

ZEIT ONLINE: Syriza will den Schuldendienst einstellen.

YANIS VAROUFAKIS
© Kunstmann

Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis lehrt als Professor für Wirtschaftswissenschaften und ökonomische Theorie an der Universität Athen. In mehr als 20 Jahren Lehrtätigkeit hat er zahlreiche wissenschaftliche Werke veröffentlicht, zuletzt erschien sein Buch “Der große Minotaurus”. Er bloggt unteryanisvaroufakis.eu.

Varoufakis: Griechenland kommt irgendwann an einen Punkt, an dem es unter den bestehenden Bedingungen nicht mehr Mitglied der Euro-Zone sein kann. Syriza sagt: So kann es nicht weiter gehen, wenn wir den Euro behalten wollen. Wir können euer Geld nicht nehmen zu Konditionen, unter denen wir es euch niemals zurückzahlen können. Die Partei handelt verantwortungsvoll, wenn sie das gegenüberEuropa so klar ausspricht. Ich hätte erwartet, dass der deutsche Steuerzahler das zu schätzen weiß.

ZEIT ONLINE: Selbst wenn Tsipras Regierungschef würde, müsste er doch die Sparmaßnahmen fortsetzen, weil der griechische Staat mehr ausgibt als er einnimmt. Täuscht er nicht seine Wähler?

Varoufakis: Natürlich führt kein Weg um Not und Mühsal herum. Das wissen die Griechen auch. Aber um es klar zu sagen: Mühsal ist etwas anderes als eine Sparpolitik, die auf der Theorie beruht, man könne die öffentliche Verschuldung verringern, indem man die öffentlichen Ausgaben senkt und zugleich die Steuern erhöht. Griechenland, aber auch Portugal und Spanienhaben gezeigt, dass dieser Kurs nicht funktioniert.

ZEIT ONLINE: Viele werfen den Griechen vor, zu wenig zu tun. Kommen die Reformen wirklich nur schleppend voran?

Varoufakis: Es ist absurd, den Griechen vorzuwerfen, sie seien faul oder unwillig. Europa hat überhaupt nicht verstanden, was sich in Griechenland abspielt . Das Land steckt nicht nur in einer einfachen Rezession . Selbst gut laufende Unternehmen gehen pleite, weil der Geldkreislauf zusammengebrochen ist.

Kredit ist die Lebensader der Wirtschaft, doch in Griechenland gibt es keinen Kredit und kein Vertrauen mehr. Ein Freund von mir besitzt ein seit Jahrzehnten profitables Unternehmen. Das Auftragsbuch ist voll, 95 Prozent der Produkte werden exportiert. Trotzdem steht das Unternehmen vor dem Aus, weil es keineRohstoffe und Vorprodukte mehr bekommt. Hätte in Deutschland ein funktionierendes Unternehmen keinen Zugang zu Krediten mehr, würde es auch untergehen.

ZEIT ONLINE: Wie könnte dann eine Lösung aussehen, die die Lage in Griechenland verbessert und sowohl für Griechenland als auch für die anderen Euro-Länder politisch annehmbar ist?

Varoufakis: Wir müssen die grundsätzliche Struktur der Euro-Zone verändern. Die europäischen Banken müssen zentral reguliert und vom EFSF oder ESM rekapitalisiert werden. Dann müssen die Staatsschulden teilweise vergemeinschaftet werden. Ein gemeinsamer Währungsraum mit separaten Staatsschulden funktioniert nicht. Damit laden wir Spekulanten geradezu ein, gegen das eine oder das andere Land zu wetten. Außerdem brauchen wir eine Investitionspolitik. Die Europäische Investitionsbank wäre die richtige Organisation dafür.

ZEIT ONLINE: Griechenland braucht einen funktionierenden Staat , funktionierende öffentliche Strukturen. Es fehlt zum Beispiel eine effiziente Steuerbehörde. Wie viel Fortschritt sehen Sie da?

Varoufakis: Gar keinen. Wie soll der Finanzminister auch die Behörden reformieren, wenn er dafür faktisch null Euro zur Verfügung hat? Stattdessen muss er auch noch die Gehälter der verbleibenden Mitarbeiter kürzen – der perfekte Weg, die Korruption noch zu verstärken.

Die Arbeitslosigkeit ist rasant gestiegen, Unternehmen gehen reihenweise pleite. Wo sollen da Steuereinnahmen herkommen? In einer solchen Lage zu behaupten, es bedürfe nur einer Reform der Steuerbehörden, ist grotesk.

ZEIT ONLINE: Manche glauben, man könne Griechenland jetzt auch einigermaßen problemlos ziehen lassen, weil sich die Euro-Zone für den Austritt des Landes gewappnet habe. Teilen Sie diese Auffassung?

Varoufakis: Nein. Ich bezweifle, dass die Brandmauern hoch genug sind und der Rest der Euro-Zone überlebt, wenn auch nur ein kleiner Teil von ihr geht. Gibt Griechenland den Euro auf , ist die Gemeinschaftswährung am Ende. Deutschland wird dann zur D-Mark zurückkehren und einen großen Teil der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit einbüßen, vor allem gegenüber China . Die Arbeitslosigkeit in Ihrem Land wird sich verdoppeln oder verdreifachen, die Armut wird zunehmen. Darum sage ich: Wir müssen den Euro retten, die Euro-Zone reparieren.

ZEIT ONLINE: Dennoch finden es viele Deutsche ungerecht, den Griechen weiter zu helfen, wenn diese doch offenbar nicht reformwillig seien. Sorgen sich die Deutschen zu sehr über Fairness angesichts dessen, was – auch für sie selbst – auf dem Spiel steht?

Varoufakis: Natürlich ist es richtig, über Gerechtigkeit zu diskutieren. Aber die Sichtweise vieler Deutscher auf die Krise ist falsch. Zwischen 1993 und 2009, in den angeblich so tollen Zeiten, sank der Lebensstandard von 65 Prozent der Griechen. Offizielle Statistiken zeigen indes, dass das BIP pro Kopf in Griechenland in dieser Zeit kräftig stieg. Warum? Weil eine kleine Minderheit, die eng mit dem Finanzsektor in Deutschland und Frankreich verbandelt war, völlig unverdient wahnsinnig viel Geld verdiente. Eine kleine Gruppe feierte eine Party, und als die Blase platzte, hat man der großen Mehrheit die Rechnung präsentiert. Die sollen nun die hart arbeitenden Griechen und Deutschen bezahlen. Deshalb ist es unfair, dass sich die Deutschen jetzt gegen die normalen Griechen stellen.

ZEIT ONLINE: Könnte es sein, dass die Griechen – aus Angst vor den möglichen Risiken – Mitte Juni doch nicht Tsipras und Syriza wählen, sondern sich wieder an Nea Dimokratia (ND) und PASOK halten?

Varoufakis: Ihre Frage unterstellt, dass die Wahl von ND und PASOK weniger riskant wäre. Doch tatsächlich ist das auch keine Lösung. Gewinnen diese beiden Parteien, geht die Sache weiter wie in den vergangenen zwei Jahren. Griechenland versucht die Bedingungen für Hilfspakete zu erfüllen und wird dabei immer weiter an den Abgrund geschoben, bis der Absturz kommt und Griechenland bankrott ist.

ZEIT ONLINE: Das könnte aber auch bei einem Sieg von Syriza passieren. Ist es letztlich egal, wer die Wahl gewinnt?

Varoufakis: Es macht keinen großen Unterschied, weil Griechenland am Endeist. Die Lösung der Krise kann nicht aus Griechenland selbst kommen. Europa muss nach zwei Jahren zur Besinnung kommen und endlich akzeptieren, dass es nicht alleine eine Krise Griechenlands ist, sondern die Euro-Zone ein strukturelles Problem hat. Europa muss dieses Problem lösen.

64 Comments

  • There is one thing I would agree with.

    The Germans deserve Syriza 100%.

    After all the meteoric rise of Tsipras is a direct result of their flawed policies. So “to have and to cherish”. Enjoy your cooking Germany. This is your baby and you better like it.

    As a result, a prolonged Syriza rule is precisely what Germany needs and wants. Hope your life together is a bliss. Tsipras is the absolute complementary other half of Merkel. For richer or for poorer.

    • Yes, you have said all this before. I disagree. Everything is connected: so what?

      You may also note that Germany produced Karl Marx. I doubt that they accept any responsibility for his birth or career 🙂

    • Dean, you are way off the mark, unless the conspiracy is so large I cannot comprehend it.

      What has happened in Greece is the exact opposite of what Germany wanted. Germany wants Greece to balance the government books and to make the country balance the international trade account.

      To spite Germany, Greek politicians have destroyed the competitiveness of the Greek economy through tax rises and have done nothing to fix the government books. This is the exact opposite of what Germany wants.

      Germany wants to stop having to give money to the Greek government, the actions of Greek politicians have only made the country more dependent.

      Syriza/Tsipras can be one of 2 things to Germany.

      The devil, his actions will guarantee Greece is dependent for the foreseeable future – ie Tsipras is correct

      or

      An angel, Syriza will force the country into default and finally the country can start recovering, Germany can stop bailing out the banks and Greece can start rebuilding using the EFSF.

      If you want villains you need to look to the ECB, Papandreou, Papademos, Sarkozy, Provopoulos. These guys are using Greece to attack Germany. Unfortunately Germany is a hard nut and Greece is getting battered.

      Trust me, Germany is the only one on the side of the Greek taxpayer. Merkel is fighting for Greeks but the propaganda machine of the EU is so powerful Greeks believe the exact opposite. It is a sad situation.

      If you want evidence, Schauble calls the Greek government a black hole. Germany blames the Greek government not the Greek people, unlike the Greek government who blame the Greek people…

    • @Richard:

      “If you want villains you need to look to the ECB, Papandreou, Papademos, Sarkozy, Provopoulos. These guys are using Greece to attack Germany. Unfortunately Germany is a hard nut and Greece is getting battered. Trust me, Germany is the only one on the side of the Greek taxpayer. Merkel is fighting for Greeks but the propaganda machine of the EU is so powerful Greeks believe the exact opposite. It is a sad situation.”
      AND
      “If you want evidence, Schauble calls the Greek government a black hole. Germany blames the Greek government not the Greek people, unlike the Greek government who blame the Greek people…”

      Oh gosh I guess this is what some call denial of reality or for you in plain German “Realitätsverleugnung”.

      Wow your conspiracy theory and perversion of the truth is the best I have ever heard!

      I had a good laugh 🙂

      Btw. if Germany really wanted Greece to balance the government books and to make the country balance the international trade account than Germany had to concede to a balanced Eurozone wide economic policy and not just austerity on the one side and nothing on the other side.

      The deficits of the South are the surpluses of the North and without a balanced economic policy across the Eurozone the deficits and surpluses won’t change!!!

      Its as simple as that!

    • “If Merkel did not make Tsipras to where he is now then who did?”

      Probably God. Or maybe the President of the United States of the Moon? Whoever it was, certainly NOT the Greek people who actually voted for Tsipras.

      Because, as one could learn during the past few years from a lot of comments here and in the media, whatever it is that happens (or not) in Greece, according to certain people who by their nature refuse to accept responsibility for their and their fellow countrymen doings and forbearances, it is ALWAYS somebody else who ist to blame.

      Now even for the results of elections by the Greek sovereign, why not. Next thing we will hear is probably that Merkel is responsible for the decades during which the Greeks let it happen that the country was plundered by the cleptocrats of the Greek ‘elite’.

    • @Very Inserious Sam:

      “Because, as one could learn during the past few years from a lot of comments here and in the media, whatever it is that happens (or not) in Greece, according to certain people who by their nature refuse to accept responsibility for their and their fellow countrymen doings and forbearances, it is ALWAYS somebody else who ist to blame”

      Sam or whatever your real name is, the Greeks have learned a lot from you the Germans during the crisis 🙂

      You blame the Greeks for everything (Your Schäuble for example really thinks that Spains current problems are because of Greece!!! Funny Germans 🙂 ) and we blame you for everything.

      Isn’t that just fair?

    • @Dean

      LOL@your video evidence:-)

      Seriously: the normal thing in electoral politics across the democratic world is that government parties either retain electoral confidence or they lose it. Depending on the configuration of the local political scene, this loss of confidence results in either the other major party being elected (in 2-party systems) or two or more parties benefiting and a coalition government has to be formed.

      In the case of Greece, it has for decades been very similar to the UK, with two main parties alternating in government. Also like the UK, the last election showed a massive shift away from this with a third party gaining enough votes to become a powerful political force (at least, potentially). Why did this happen? In both the UK and Greece it is because the public lost confidence in the politicians of the two major parties and started voting for another. The reason for the rise of the Liberal Democrats in the UK (and note that they had quite a Leftist manifesto, which they have betrayed in coalition government) and of Syriza in Greece is the same: the old parties of government were seen as having failed the people.

      This is normal politics, over a longer time span than most people think. It has less to do with external events (although they are connected, as I conceded) and more to do with how the major political forces of the recent past performed. Pasok under Papandreou handled the crisis in a highly unprofessional and unimpressive way; ND was hardly any better, and besides, was the party that quietly plunged the State into massive debt over the last decade. The Greek popular reaction is logical, appropriate and entirely consistent with democratic trends across the world. Possibly you have a rather weird view of politics through living in the USA, where anything left of Attila the Hun is considered communist…

    • Dean,
      When you ask, “If Merkel did not make Tsipras to where he is now then who did?” do you mean that they are allies, or enemies? Or what? I concede your point that Merkel has been a useful idiot to help the rise of the left in Greece and elsewhere, but that was predictable 3 years ago when she formed her right-wing coalition govt. Is there anywhere on Planet Earth where right-wing governance has benefited any but the 1%? For 30 years I considered myself to be a conservative centrist politically. In the last 10 years or so, my politics has been relabeled by right-wing ideologues as “left” even though I haven’t changed one bit. Its happening in Europe too, I’ve noticed.

      As the election gets nearer I’m having trouble understanding your reasoning about it. When you say, “The Germans deserve Syriza 100%. After all, the meteoric rise of Tsipras is a direct result of their flawed policies. So “to have and to cherish”. Enjoy your cooking Germany. This is your baby and you better like it.” are you thinking Germany believes Syriza will fail at governance discrediting the left? Or lead Greece out of the EZ/EU? Or maybe you believe Merkel thinks Syriza will be the salvation of Greece, and keep them in the EZ as she’s stated repeatedly she desires?

      And, I have a political/existential question for you. You’ve stated “my urgent advice to those I politically support” is to stop the fear and coercion that is becoming central to this election. Does that mean you’re still supporting ND? They seem to be the main party to the fear mongering in this campaign. You’ve stated you’re ” in this political debate?… to shape it.” does that mean you have a specific idea on the “shape”? if so which party best fits that “shape”?

    • Dean,
      When you ask, “If Merkel did not make Tsipras to where he is now then who did?” do you mean that they are allies, or enemies? Or what? I concede your point that Merkel has been a useful idiot to help the rise of the left in Greece and elsewhere, but that was predictable 3 years ago when she formed her right-wing coalition govt. Is there anywhere on Planet Earth where right-wing governance has benefited any but the 1%? For 30 years I considered myself to be a conservative centrist politically. In the last 10 years or so, my politics has been relabeled by right-wing ideologues as “left” even though I haven’t changed one bit. Its happening in Europe too, I’ve noticed.

      As the election gets nearer I’m having trouble understanding your reasoning about it. When you say, “The Germans deserve Syriza 100%. After all, the meteoric rise of Tsipras is a direct result of their flawed policies. So “to have and to cherish”. Enjoy your cooking Germany. This is your baby and you better like it.” are you thinking Germany believes Syriza will fail at governance discrediting the left? Or lead Greece out of the EZ/EU? Or maybe you believe Merkel thinks Syriza will be the salvation of Greece, and keep them in the EZ as she’s stated repeatedly she desires?

      And, I have a political/existential question for you. You’ve stated “my urgent advice to those I politically support” is to stop the fear and coercion that is becoming central to this election. Does that mean you’re still supporting ND? They seem to be the main party to the fear mongering in this campaign. You’ve stated you’re ” in this political debate… to shape it.” does that mean you have a specific idea on the “shape”? if so which party best fits that “shape”?

  • Prof.Varoufakis may i ask what your opinion is of DImitrios Kazakis,he seems to make valid points about a greek exit from the Euro.

    • Well, professor it would be nice to discuss his ideas about the economy in public, considering you have shown to be open to productive discussion and defending your arguments. For example what do you mean by calling him a liability and for what reason? Plus, the scenario of exiting the euro nowadays seems to be coming closer and closer, so wouldn’t it be proper to simply consider producing some thoughts about that scenario? I hope your answer doesn’t include that this discussion would upset the market because honestly nobody gives a damn anymore!

  • Still no answer how to solve the root cause of the problem: 1) The Euro and 2) divergence in unit cost development. Everything else is a symptom not a cause.

    • “The danger of external debt”

      http://mises.org/daily/6059/The-Danger-of-External-Debts

      “Economies with high and inflexible wages — as in southern Europe — may be uncompetitive, running a trade deficit. The uncompetitiveness is maintained and made possible by high government spending. Southern eurozone governments hired people into huge public sectors, arranged generous and early retirement schemes, and offered unemployment subsidies, thereby alleviating the consequence of the unemployment caused by inflexible labor markets. The result of the government spending was therefore not only a lack of competitiveness and a trade deficit but also a government deficit. Therefore, large trade and government deficits often go hand in hand.

      In the European periphery, imports were paid with loans. The import surplus cannot go on forever, as public debts would rise forever. A situation of persisting import surpluses such as in Greece can be interpreted as a lack of political will to reform labor markets and to regain competitiveness”

    • @EU Dictatorship:

      “In this sense, the German export surplus supports the value of the euro, while the periphery’s import surplus dilutes its value.

      In sum, high public (external) debts and persisting import surpluses are signs of a weak currency. The government may well have to default or to print its way out of its problems. Low public (external) debts and persisting export surpluses, in contrast, strengthen a currency.”

      Hey what’s up with all these brainwashed neoliberal guys???

      Has the infamous German-Austrian School forgotten what Mercantilism and “Beggar Thy Neighbour” inflicts on all the others who don’t play this silly Win-Loose game?

      Come on get serious guys and don’t try to pervert reality!

      The deficits of the South are the surpluses of the North and without a balanced economic policy across the Eurozone the deficits and surpluses won’t change!!!

      Its as simple as that! A missing common economic policy has led us here but of course you can prefer to talk a lot of bullshit just like Merkel and most of her nationalistic muppets in Germany and elsewhere 🙂

    • “The deficits of the South are the surpluses of the North ”

      Did yo already build a wall around the Eurozone so there can be no more import and export to other countries?

      Greeece can have a deficit without one EUR import from Germany. Germany can have a surplus without one EUR export to Greece. Same is true if you exchnage Greece for ES, PT, etc.

      You almost sound like Lagarde, who once recommended that by making Germany less competitive all problems of the EZ are solved! How can someone be so Europhile to forget the rest (90%) of the population on the planet.

    • n eu d

      The EZ is one country.
      The public sector has deficit ,the private sector has surplus.
      In order for the private sector to be able to have a surplus ,the public sector MUST have a deficit.

      In EZ ,we play the public sector and Germany plays the private sector.
      Got it?

      Your money is not YOUR money. It is OUR money. Period.

      Ofcourse the above is an oversimplification. The graph of Crossover’s post explains it.

  • Congrats for having made it to the most reknowned German weekly newspaper. Let’s hope they’ll read your proposal too.

  • You say “Zwischen 1993 und 2009, in den angeblich so tollen Zeiten, sank der Lebensstandard von 65 Prozent der Griechen. Offizielle Statistiken zeigen indes, dass das BIP pro Kopf in Griechenland in dieser Zeit kräftig stieg. Warum? Weil eine kleine Minderheit, die eng mit dem Finanzsektor in Deutschland und Frankreich verbandelt war, völlig unverdient wahnsinnig viel Geld verdiente”

    1st: it is a good sign that finally you acknowledge it was not just the Germans who made business with Greece, but also the French who had their share (which was in the fiannce sector much higher then Germanys). BTW, as an aside, I already posted the facts that the French banks were the main beneficiaries of the taxpayer funded bail-outs for banks, not the German ones. Just to debunk another myth floating around here and alsewhere.

    2nd: why did the Greek electorate allow this ‘small minority’ of political, trade union and companie’s ‘elites’ to build up the cleptocratic system to steal over decades from the average Greek perople? And why is the country still not getting certain acts together, for instance: bank officials refuse to cooperate with the tax authorities about huge sums of money expatriated by these ‘elites’ – why don’t you just throw the bank management in jail, until it cooperates, for the sake of the country?

  • Wake Up Gyus!!!

    This is the final countdown I guess:

    Επιδιώκουν θυσία της Ελλάδας για “παραδειγματισμό”

    Σχέδιο «Ιφιγένεια» ετοιμάζει η Καγκελάριος Μέρκελ για την Ελλάδα. Το Βερολίνο συζητά ακόμα και την «παραδειγματική έξωση» της Ελλάδας από την ευρωζώνη προκειμένου να μπορέσει στη συνέχεια να συμβιβαστεί με τις υπόλοιπες χώρες του Νότου σε μια πιο ελαστική πολιτική. Από την πλευρά του, ο Πρωθυπουργός της Ιταλίας Μάριο Μόντι θεωρεί ότι η γερμανίδα Καγκελάριος «παίζει με τη φωτιά».

    Η Ανγκελα Μέρκελ, σύμφωνα με την ιταλική εφημερίδα «Mεσατζέρο», καθώς και ένα σχόλιο της βελγικής «Ντερ Στάνταρντ», καθυστερεί την υιοθέτηση συνολικού σχεδίου για την αντιμετώπιση της κρίσης στην ευρωζώνη ώσπου να αποχωρήσει η χώρα μας από το ενιαίο νόμισμα.

    Τα σενάρια περί «θυσίας» της Ελλάδας έρχονται στο φως της δημοσιότητας τη στιγμή που ο Μπαράκ Ομπάμα – ο οποίος, όπως όλα δείχνουν, ανησυχεί σοβαρά για την επόμενη ημέρα του ευρώ – έκανε και νέα παρέμβαση προς Βερολίνο και Ρώμη ζητώντας να βρεθεί άμεσα λύση στην κρίση.

    Ο πρόεδρος των ΗΠΑ είχε χθες τηλεφωνική επικοινωνία με την Ανγκελα Μέρκελ και τον ιταλό Πρωθυπουργό Μάριο Μόντι, καλώντας τους να κάνουν περισσότερα για να αντιμετωπιστεί η κρίσιμη, όπως διαμορφώνεται, κατάσταση. Αντίστοιχη έκκληση πραγματοποίησε και η επικεφαλής του ΔΝΤ Κριστίν Λαγκάρντ καθώς τα περιθώρια στενεύουν.

    Σύμφωνα με τη «Μεσατζέρο», ο ιταλός πρωθυπουργός Μάριο Μόντι είχε την ευκαιρία να επαναλάβει στην προχθεσινή του συνάντηση με τον γάλλο υπουργό Εξωτερικών Λοράν Φαμπιούς την πάγια θέση του ότι «η Ελλάδα πρέπει να παραμείνει στη ζώνη του ευρώ». Η συνάντηση πραγματοποιήθηκε ενόψει της διμερούς Συνόδου Ρώμης – Παρισιού, που έχει προγραμματιστεί για την προσεχή Πέμπτη στην ιταλική πρωτεύουσα.

    Ο ιταλός πρωθυπουργός υπενθύμισε στον γάλλο συνομιλητή του αυτή τη θέση του υπό το βάρος της ανησυχίας για το σενάριο που κυκλοφορεί με επιμονή στη γερμανική Καγκελαρία και τρομοκρατεί εξίσου το Παλάτσο Κίτζι και το Μέγαρο των Ηλυσίων: δηλαδή, ότι το Βερολίνο αναμένει από τις Βρυξέλλες και τη Φρανκφούρτη να κινήσουν τις διαδικασίες που θα εξαναγκάσουν την Αθήνα να εγκαταλείψει το ευρώ αμέσως μετά τις ελληνικές εκλογές της 17ης Ιουνίου.

    Η ελληνική έξοδος θα αποτελούσε ένα παράδειγμα προς αποφυγή για τις υπόλοιπες χώρες της ευρωζώνης που δεν πειθαρχούν οικονομικά. Επιπλέον, θα επέτρεπε στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να προετοιμάσει και να δοκιμάσει μηχανισμούς που σήμερα δεν προβλέπονται σε καμία κοινοτική συνθήκη.

    Μια έξοδος της Ελλάδας από το ευρώ, όπως αναφέρουν τα Νέα, θα γίνει ο καταλύτης που θα επιταχύνει τις διαδικασίες για τη δημιουργία στενότερης δημοσιονομικής ένωσης. Οι Έλληνες όμως θα έχουν θυσιαστεί ως άλλη Ιφιγένεια και θα υποστούν τις δραματικές επιπτώσεις. Αυτό πιστεύει ο πανεπιστημιακός Φέρντι ντε Βιλ σε άρθρο του που δημοσιεύθηκε στη βελγική εφημερίδα «Ντερ Στάνταρντ» με τίτλο «Hocus Pocus Grexodus» (σε ελεύθερη μετάφραση: Αμπρα κατάμπρα έξοδος της Ελλάδας από το ευρώ).

    Σύμφωνα με τον Ντε Βιλ, σήμερα η Γερμανία δεν έχει την απαραίτητη πολιτική βούληση για να αντιμετωπιστεί δραστικά η κρίση στην ευρωζώνη. Ωστόσο μια έξοδος της χώρας μας από το ευρώ θα δημιουργούσε τέτοια αναστάτωση που οι Γερμανοί θα άλλαζαν γνώμη, αφού θα αντιλαμβάνονταν τις επιπτώσεις.

    • But what Merkel and her other German nationalistic political muppets don’t seem to bother or care are the desastrous consequences of a Grexit to the future of Europe and the whole world.

      A Grexit will open up the gates of hell in geopolitical terms!

      If Greece is pressured to leave the Euro than I can predict another two exits accompanying its Euroexit:

      – Greece will than also leave the EU
      and
      – Greece will leave the Nato

      That will lead to:

      -Russia and other orthodox nations of the Balkans will form their own military and economic alliance!

      http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/greece-european-robert-d-kaplan?utm_source=freelist-f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20120606&utm_term=kaplan&utm_content=readmore&elq=6b287bfee8d547b38e020b7e2c061923

      ” That means, given its geographic location, Greece’s political orientation should never be taken for granted. For example, the Chinese have invested heavily in developing part of the port of Piraeus, adjacent to Athens, even as Russia’s economic and intelligence ties to the Greek area of Cyprus are extremely close. It has been speculated in the media that with Greece short of cash and Russia enjoying a surplus, were the Russians ejected from ports in Syria in the wake of a regime change there, Moscow would find a way to eventually make use of Greek naval facilities. Remember that Greece and Cyprus both have modern European histories mainly because they were claimed by Western powers for strategic reasons.

      In other words, from the point of geography and geopolitics, Greece will be in play for years to come. “

    • Αριστοτέλης

      Ας βγούμε να τελειώνουμε με τους ανόητους που μπλέξαμε.
      Ίσως με την Ρωσία να εκμεταλευθούμε πιο αποτελεσματικά τις πηγές μας.

      Έτσι κι αλλιώς κανένας δεν θέλει να δεί την αλήθεια τώρα που βρήκανε το εξιλαστήριο αποδιοπομπαίο τραγόθυμα.
      Το ωραίο φυσικά θα είναι να δείξουμε ότι το θύμα ,μόνο θύμα δεν είναι.

      Δεν μπορώ να αποδεχτώ ότι δεν ξέρουν τι κάνουν. Μπορεί να είναι αυτή η γυναίκα τόσο μα τόσο ανόητη;

      Έχω μια παράξενη ,μεταφυσική θα έλεγα αισιοδοξία.
      Να δείς που στο τέλος ,ότι κι αν γίνει θα είναι καλύτερο για εμάς.

      Αν βγούμε από τη ζώνη και την ένωση ,μπορεί όταν επέλθει η παγκόσμια κατάρρευση ,να έχουμε βρεί κάλυψη ήδη. Κι όποιος έπιασεν ,έπιασεν.

    • Transcript from Democracy Now:

      AMY GOODMAN: John Perkins joins us now in our firehouse studio. Welcome to Democracy Now!

      JOHN PERKINS: Thank you, Amy. It’s great to be here.

      AMY GOODMAN: It’s good to have you with us. Okay, explain this term, “economic hit man,” e.h.m., as you call it.

      JOHN PERKINS: Basically what we were trained to do and what our job is to do is to build up the American empire. To bring — to create situations where as many resources as possible flow into this country, to our corporations, and our government, and in fact we’ve been very successful. We’ve built the largest empire in the history of the world. It’s been done over the last 50 years since World War II with very little military might, actually. It’s only in rare instances like Iraq where the military comes in as a last resort. This empire, unlike any other in the history of the world, has been built primarily through economic manipulation, through cheating, through fraud, through seducing people into our way of life, through the economic hit men. I was very much a part of that.

      AMY GOODMAN: How did you become one? Who did you work for?

      JOHN PERKINS: Well, I was initially recruited while I was in business school back in the late sixties by the National Security Agency, the nation’s largest and least understood spy organization; but ultimately I worked for private corporations. The first real economic hit man was back in the early 1950’s, Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of Teddy, who overthrew of government of Iran, a democratically elected government, Mossadegh’s government who was _Time_’s magazine person of the year; and he was so successful at doing this without any bloodshed — well, there was a little bloodshed, but no military intervention, just spending millions of dollars and replaced Mossadegh with the Shah of Iran. At that point, we understood that this idea of economic hit man was an extremely good one. We didn’t have to worry about the threat of war with Russia when we did it this way. The problem with that was that Roosevelt was a C.I.A. agent. He was a government employee. Had he been caught, we would have been in a lot of trouble. It would have been very embarrassing. So, at that point, the decision was made to use organizations like the C.I.A. and the N.S.A. to recruit potential economic hit men like me and then send us to work for private consulting companies, engineering firms, construction companies, so that if we were caught, there would be no connection with the government.

      AMY GOODMAN: Okay. Explain the company you worked for.

      JOHN PERKINS: Well, the company I worked for was a company named Chas. T. Main in Boston, Massachusetts. We were about 2,000 employees, and I became its chief economist. I ended up having fifty people working for me. But my real job was deal-making. It was giving loans to other countries, huge loans, much bigger than they could possibly repay. One of the conditions of the loan — let’s say a $1 billion to a country like Indonesia or Ecuador — and this country would then have to give ninety percent of that loan back to a U.S. company, or U.S. companies, to build the infrastructure — a Halliburton or a Bechtel. These were big ones. Those companies would then go in and build an electrical system or ports or highways, and these would basically serve just a few of the very wealthiest families in those countries. The poor people in those countries would be stuck ultimately with this amazing debt that they couldn’t possibly repay. A country today like Ecuador owes over fifty percent of its national budget just to pay down its debt. And it really can’t do it. So, we literally have them over a barrel. So, when we want more oil, we go to Ecuador and say, “Look, you’re not able to repay your debts, therefore give our oil companies your Amazon rain forest, which are filled with oil.” And today we’re going in and destroying Amazonian rain forests, forcing Ecuador to give them to us because they’ve accumulated all this debt. So we make this big loan, most of it comes back to the United States, the country is left with the debt plus lots of interest, and they basically become our servants, our slaves. It’s an empire. There’s no two ways about it. It’s a huge empire. It’s been extremely successful.

      AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. You say because of bribes and other reason you didn’t write this book for a long time. What do you mean? Who tried to bribe you, or who — what are the bribes you accepted?

      JOHN PERKINS: Well, I accepted a half a million dollar bribe in the nineties not to write the book.

      AMY GOODMAN: From?

      JOHN PERKINS: From a major construction engineering company.

      AMY GOODMAN: Which one?

      JOHN PERKINS: Legally speaking, it wasn’t — Stoner-Webster. Legally speaking it wasn’t a bribe, it was — I was being paid as a consultant. This is all very legal. But I essentially did nothing. It was a very understood, as I explained in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, that it was — I was — it was understood when I accepted this money as a consultant to them I wouldn’t have to do much work, but I mustn’t write any books about the subject, which they were aware that I was in the process of writing this book, which at the time I called “Conscience of an Economic Hit Man.” And I have to tell you, Amy, that, you know, it’s an extraordinary story from the standpoint of —- It’s almost James Bondish, truly, and I mean—-

      AMY GOODMAN: Well that’s certainly how the book reads.

      JOHN PERKINS: Yeah, and it was, you know? And when the National Security Agency recruited me, they put me through a day of lie detector tests. They found out all my weaknesses and immediately seduced me. They used the strongest drugs in our culture, sex, power and money, to win me over. I come from a very old New England family, Calvinist, steeped in amazingly strong moral values. I think I, you know, I’m a good person overall, and I think my story really shows how this system and these powerful drugs of sex, money and power can seduce people, because I certainly was seduced. And if I hadn’t lived this life as an economic hit man, I think I’d have a hard time believing that anybody does these things. And that’s why I wrote the book, because our country really needs to understand, if people in this nation understood what our foreign policy is really about, what foreign aid is about, how our corporations work, where our tax money goes, I know we will demand change.

      AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to John Perkins. In your book, you talk about how you helped to implement a secret scheme that funneled billions of dollars of Saudi Arabian petrol dollars back into the U.S. economy, and that further cemented the intimate relationship between the House of Saud and successive U.S. administrations. Explain.

      JOHN PERKINS: Yes, it was a fascinating time. I remember well, you’re probably too young to remember, but I remember well in the early seventies how OPEC exercised this power it had, and cut back on oil supplies. We had cars lined up at gas stations. The country was afraid that it was facing another 1929-type of crash — depression; and this was unacceptable. So, they —- the Treasury Department hired me and a few other economic hit men. We went to Saudi Arabia. We -—

      AMY GOODMAN: You’re actually called economic hit men —e.h.m.’s?

      JOHN PERKINS: Yeah, it was a tongue-in-cheek term that we called ourselves. Officially, I was a chief economist. We called ourselves e.h.m.’s. It was tongue-in-cheek. It was like, nobody will believe us if we say this, you know? And, so, we went to Saudi Arabia in the early seventies. We knew Saudi Arabia was the key to dropping our dependency, or to controlling the situation. And we worked out this deal whereby the Royal House of Saud agreed to send most of their petro-dollars back to the United States and invest them in U.S. government securities. The Treasury Department would use the interest from these securities to hire U.S. companies to build Saudi Arabia — new cities, new infrastructure — which we’ve done. And the House of Saud would agree to maintain the price of oil within acceptable limits to us, which they’ve done all of these years, and we would agree to keep the House of Saud in power as long as they did this, which we’ve done, which is one of the reasons we went to war with Iraq in the first place. And in Iraq we tried to implement the same policy that was so successful in Saudi Arabia, but Saddam Hussein didn’t buy. When the economic hit men fail in this scenario, the next step is what we call the jackals. Jackals are C.I.A.-sanctioned people that come in and try to foment a coup or revolution. If that doesn’t work, they perform assassinations. or try to. In the case of Iraq, they weren’t able to get through to Saddam Hussein. He had — His bodyguards were too good. He had doubles. They couldn’t get through to him. So the third line of defense, if the economic hit men and the jackals fail, the next line of defense is our young men and women, who are sent in to die and kill, which is what we’ve obviously done in Iraq.

      AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain how Torrijos died?

      JOHN PERKINS: Omar Torrijos, the President of Panama. Omar Torrijos had signed the Canal Treaty with Carter much — and, you know, it passed our congress by only one vote. It was a highly contended issue. And Torrijos then also went ahead and negotiated with the Japanese to build a sea-level canal. The Japanese wanted to finance and construct a sea-level canal in Panama. Torrijos talked to them about this which very much upset Bechtel Corporation, whose president was George Schultz and senior council was Casper Weinberger. When Carter was thrown out (and that’s an interesting story — how that actually happened), when he lost the election, and Reagan came in and Schultz came in as Secretary of State from Bechtel, and Weinberger came from Bechtel to be Secretary of Defense, they were extremely angry at Torrijos — tried to get him to renegotiate the Canal Treaty and not to talk to the Japanese. He adamantly refused. He was a very principled man. He had his problem, but he was a very principled man. He was an amazing man, Torrijos. And so, he died in a fiery airplane crash, which was connected to a tape recorder with explosives in it, which — I was there. I had been working with him. I knew that we economic hit men had failed. I knew the jackals were closing in on him, and the next thing, his plane exploded with a tape recorder with a bomb in it. There’s no question in my mind that it was C.I.A. sanctioned, and most — many Latin American investigators have come to the same conclusion. Of course, we never heard about that in our country.

      AMY GOODMAN: So, where — when did your change your heart happen?

      JOHN PERKINS: I felt guilty throughout the whole time, but I was seduced. The power of these drugs, sex, power, and money, was extremely strong for me. And, of course, I was doing things I was being patted on the back for. I was chief economist. I was doing things that Robert McNamara liked and so on.

      AMY GOODMAN: How closely did you work with the World Bank?

      JOHN PERKINS: Very, very closely with the World Bank. The World Bank provides most of the money that’s used by economic hit men, it and the I.M.F. But when 9/11 struck, I had a change of heart. I knew the story had to be told because what happened at 9/11 is a direct result of what the economic hit men are doing. And the only way that we’re going to feel secure in this country again and that we’re going to feel good about ourselves is if we use these systems we’ve put into place to create positive change around the world. I really believe we can do that. I believe the World Bank and other institutions can be turned around and do what they were originally intended to do, which is help reconstruct devastated parts of the world. Help — genuinely help poor people. There are twenty-four thousand people starving to death every day. We can change that.

      AMY GOODMAN: John Perkins, I want to thank you very much for being with us. John Perkins’ book is called, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

    • If after this ,some do not understand that Greece has nothing to do as a unique situation and cause of the crisis ,you are dumber than a brick.

      If after this ,you still do not comprehend that the biggest problem of the crisis was not the debt of the sovereigns so much but rather the overleveraging of the banks ,you are dumber than a brick.

      If after this ,you still do not realise that the reforms and the illogical demands are only for exploiting the crisis and literally stealing assets from sovereigns while trying to bypass the crisis ,you are dumber than a brick.

      If after this ,you still do not get that the austerity is only a stalling mechanism at the present phase of what is to come anyway ,you are dumber than a brick.

      A stalling mechanism only for the banks and other sovereigns not yet caught in the crisis ,while for the sovereigns caught in the crisis is a catalyst for “helping” the crisis express itself as a sovereign problem primarily by controlled covering up of the black pages of the banks and for profit potential (looting the assets of a country).

  • Richard, Very Serious Sam and Xenos:

    First a WARNING! When you decide to go against Dean in a public debate you have to be supremely prepared. Just try to project your personal best and then raised it in the power of 10. Just saying….

    As with the German crimes best supported by written German evidence during the Nuremberg trial, the fact that the rise of the Left in Greece is a direct byproduct of the flawed German policies has already been documented by Der Spiegel at least 3 months prior to the last elections in Greece.

    This is undisputed evidence and notice the title connection: A rise of the Greek left IS a direct result of extreme austerity (aka Merkel’s precise recipe).

    Not only Germany has been deliberately introducing this destabilizing factor in Greek politics but Germany also knew way in advance (way before any elections or any polls) that Germany was the real fabricator of the new Greek left.

    This proposition is not only as solid evidence supported as they come, but it also makes political sense. Merkel wanted a political opponent in Greece to also be her own ideological opponent so that the subsequent German actions could be justified on pure political logic. The “oh, look Merkel is harsh on the Greeks but what do you expect? these Leftists are their main political opponent…and they are crazy anyway”. This is rudimentary stuff in political struggles and you pretend that you don’t even understand it?

    Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!!!!!!!!

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/a-political-establishment-in-freefall-greece-lurches-to-left-amid-radical-austerity-a-816598.html

    • and, oh BTW. This is how Der Spiegel framed Tsipras in the article above dated laste February:

      “Tsipras, on the other hand, wants to keep the euro. He wants “Greece to remain a systemic problem for Europe.” He argues that this is the only way to ensure that the billions from the bailout packages are actually disbursed, and the only way to ensure that Europe, fearing the risk of contagion that would emanate from a Greek bankruptcy, will defer Greece’s debts, or perhaps even forgive them one day. This is what Tsipras is betting on. It’s a crude, extortionist way of thinking.”

      And you keep telling me that Tsipras is not Merkel’s creation. But of course he is. If there wasn’t a Merkel there wouldn’t be a Tsipras.

    • You are really an arrogant son-of-a-bitch. And for Christ’s sake, why are you quoting Der Spiegel at us, when it is part of the German propaganda machinery? OK, it is interesting to know what they publish, but I do not have to accept that their opinion has any validity as a scientific analysis. Far from it, anything that they publish should be regarded with great suspicion.

      As far as your analysis of cause and effect is concerned, I find it very superficial and unconvincing. Obviously the rise of a smaller party to power is connected with recent internal and external events: this does not lead inevitably to patterns of direct causality involving individuals, nor does it allocate such a concept as “responsibility” — a concept that you seem to have invented for yourself.

    • Hello Dean

      You have lost me. You are saying that Merkel created Tsipras?

      If you are, for what reason? To make the country default? Germany could have done that in 2008 by refusing to contribute money to the Greek government.

      If Germany wants to snap up Greek land and utilities on the cheap, they could have done that in 2008 by refusing any bail out money.

      and so on and so forth.

      If you are saying Tsipras is there to make Greece dependent on Germany for what reason?

      What good is it to BMW and Audi if German taxpayers are poorer because they are giving money to the black hole Greek government and what benefit is it to VW, BMW, Siemens if Greeks are too poor to buy anything?

      You see what I am saying? Germany is not gaining anything from the current situation and if they wanted to “destroy” the country they could have done it in 2008. (Destroy is a media term, personally I think default would be a breath of fresh air)

    • Richard

      During the crisis Germany’s domestic production increased ,because of the diminishing growth in the periphery. Ofcourse this is only temporary.

      The thing is ,till now Germany earned a lot. Germany didn’t actually pay. Only 15 b. while at the end Germany profited. But if it continues the same game ,it will lose a lot.

      if Germany wanted to get land and utilities on the cheap ,it wouldn’t be able to get it cheap back then. Only when time passes and quality of life diminishes enough ,can one acquire more assets at a bargain.

      Also i must repeat again ,that it is not about Germany in particular. Nationality is unimportant to corporations.

      And the black hole is not the Greek government by itself ,but the whole f@cking system.

    • Guys:

      Try not to be humorless, will you? 🙂

      When I get into these moods of abusing you, I just can’t help it. 🙂

      Can’t you guys tell the difference?

      Xenos: Yes, I insist. There are two genuine Merkel creations in the Greek political scene. One is Tsipras. The other is Xrysi Avgi (the Greek neoNazi party). 100% both of the them Made in Germany.

      Richard: I don’t subscribe to the notion that Merkel wants to save Greece. All of our politicians who can now finally talk openly (Papandreou and Papaconstantinou) tell us that Merkel wanted Greece to hurt from the beginning, not for Greece’s own good, but as an example of avoidance to others. There have been whole articles on the subject, that’s why Merkel is so unpopular in Greece. Because she comes across as a mean woman with her own agenda.

    • Dean. You haven’t convinced me. If Germany wanted to set an example they would have let the country default, that would have also have been cheaper.

      About the hurt. This has absolutely nothing to do with Merkel. This is a very important point that needs to be understood. The Greek politicians are working with Goldman Sachs to hurt the country.

      There is absolutely no need for Greece to experiencing this amount of pain it is completely self inflicted with the sole aim of making Germany look bad.

      I would say mission accomplished.

      And forget about Greece not defaulting, this will happen, everybody knows it, the only reason it is taking so long is so the banks can extract as much liquid cash as possible from the country before the default

      Google this also this “controlled demolition greek economy” independence4wales

      Also if you Google “7 ways papandreou sabotaged the greek economy” and read this article with the idea that this was all done to wear down Germany’s resistance to the rampant printing or Euros.

      You talk about countries

    • @Very Reasonable Richard:

      “Dean. You haven’t convinced me.”

      From all your comments here it is very clear that you poses extraodrinary reasoning power, so it is very difficult for anyone here to convince such an “Übermensch” spirit!

      “If Germany wanted to set an example they would have let the country default, that would have also have been cheaper.”

      Your superb economical wisdom strikes me my friend! So you mean that it is cheaper for the Greek creditors (Germany, France, etc.) if one defaults than if one is kept deeply debt stricken for ever?
      You obsviously expose here totally new economic truths!

      “About the hurt. This has absolutely nothing to do with Merkel. This is a very important point that needs to be understood. The Greek politicians are working with Goldman Sachs to hurt the country. There is absolutely no need for Greece to experiencing this amount of pain it is completely self inflicted with the sole aim of making Germany look bad.”

      Another one of your very interesting theories 🙂

      I fully agree with you! It is a terrible conspiracy by Goldman Sachs with the help of alcoholic Greek politicians in order to make Germany look bad!!!
      They want to twist the truth about the honourable intentions of the German government!
      Just like in the past were the Americans and the Jews invented all this stupid lies about Germany?

      “Also if you Google “7 ways papandreou sabotaged the greek economy” and read this article with the idea that this was all done to wear down Germany’s resistance to the rampant printing or Euros”

      Wow you finally have the answer why all this was done! It was perpetrated so that they wear down Germany’s resistance to the rampant printing or Euros!

      And you mean that would be bad for you? May I ask you one simple question?

      How much money do you have in your bank account? If you don’t happen to be a millionair or billionair why do you even bother if new money is printed?
      Are you equally bothered about the high taxes and prices in the Eurozone in the same way you are concerned about the printing of new money?
      Most likely not because you don’t have a clue about the impact of public and private debt on taxes and prices! Are you bothered about low economic growth in the Eurozone? No? Than you better investigate the impact of the bankind systems greed and fallacy on the real economy but you are obviously much more concerned about printing new money!

    • Hello Aristoteles, long reply coming up!

      You didnt really explain why you think my theories are wrong but let me take the points you did make one by one.

      1.

      “Your superb economical wisdom strikes me my friend! So you mean that it is cheaper for the Greek creditors (Germany, France, etc.) if one defaults than if one is kept deeply debt stricken for ever?”

      Creditors? Sorry, your saying taxpayers in Germany and Greece are the creditors? Because they are the ones paying the bills. Yes I am saying it would be cheaper for the taxpayer if they did not have to monetize the debt of the private sector through massive tax increases.

      2.

      They want to twist the truth about the honourable intentions of the German government!
      Just like in the past were the Americans and the Jews invented all this stupid lies about Germany?

      I am saying most of the western countries are pushing for rampant inflation, Germany is the only one resisting and your argument is to bring up the second/first world war? Excellent, maybe you want to have a go at the Japanese people living in Tokyo today for Pearl Harbour? Come on if you think what I am saying is nonsense give me something to chew on.

      3a

      How much money do you have in your bank account? If you don’t happen to be a millionair or billionair why do you even bother if new money is printed?

      If money is printed is will mean a government has borrowed it which means I will have to pay interest on money I will never see or benefit from.

      3b

      Are you equally bothered about the high taxes and prices in the Eurozone in the same way you are concerned about the printing of new money?

      Sorry, you lost me here, are you implying high taxes & high prices are not the result of money printing?

      3c

      Most likely not because you don’t have a clue about the impact of public and private debt on taxes and prices!

      Maybe I dont, if you could enlighten me

      3d

      Are you bothered about low economic growth in the Eurozone? No?

      Economic growth is the the only thing I want. And it does not come from money printing, you seem to imply it does so let me give you an example.

      You have 100 people on a desert island. There is 1000Drachma in circulation.

      Do you think these people would get richer if the central bank of the island printed and extra 1000Drachma?

      ie do you think the people on the island will be richer if they had 2000Drachma between them rather than 1000? Would they be able to buy more stuff? Would they be more productive? Would their savings increase in value? Would the quality of their lives increase?

      3e

      you better investigate the impact of the bankind systems greed and fallacy on the real economy but you are obviously much more concerned about printing new money!

      Again you lost me here, are you implying that greed in the banking system is unrelated to money printing? Money printing is carried out by the banking system so I’m not sure what your point is here.

    • @Richard:

      Since I don’t have time to answer all your points at the moment I will just focus on one of your points now and will come back later and answer on your other points!

      You said this: “2. They want to twist the truth about the honourable intentions of the German government! Just like in the past were the Americans and the Jews invented all this stupid lies about Germany? I am saying most of the western countries are pushing for rampant inflation, Germany is the only one resisting and your argument is to bring up the second/first world war? Excellent, maybe you want to have a go at the Japanese people living in Tokyo today for Pearl Harbour”

      Let me try to explain to you one very important thing: Germany isn’t like any other European country! Germany has a moral and historical responsibility for Europe!!!

      If Germany continues to act because of its economic strength like a bull in a china shop that will surely have very negative effects on both Europe and Germany itself.

      It is just like playing with the fire:

      „Deutschland spielt mit dem Feuer“

      http://www.handelsblatt.com/meinung/gastbeitraege/offener-brief-deutschland-spielt-mit-dem-feuer/6739368.html

  • So if Syriza wins the elections and gets to govern, would you (Prof. Varoufakis) help them as an economic expert? (in theory, were you to be asked)

  • @Demetri.

    Demetri the whole problems we are facing have more to do with the EU rather than economic hitman from the IMF etc:

    A Machiavellian Scheme for a United States of Europe?

    Ever wondered why European politicians appear so calm when attending summits in Brussels or G8 meetings despite all the talk of a “Grexit” and economic Armageddon? They could be trying to show their confidence in their own ability to solve the crisis and avoid unnecessary panic. Maybe they really are confident that a solution is just around the corner and simply reflecting this confidence.

    Or maybe this crisis was always part of the plan, and without it the great European project can never be finished.

    “On 1 January 1999, with the introduction of the euro …an important part of national sovereignty, to wit monetary sovereignty, was passed over to a European institution…The introduction of a common currency is not primarily an economic, but rather a sovereign and thus eminently political act…political union must be our lodestar from now on: it is the logical follow-on from Economic and Monetary Union,” then German foreign minister Joschka Fischer told European Union lawmakers just days after the introduction of the euro in 1999.

    Fischer was not alone, with many of the founding members of the euro zone making it clear that the single currency was significant as a stepping stone to political union.

    “The single currency is the greatest abandonment of sovereignty since the foundation of the European Community…it is a decision of an essentially political nature. We need this United Europe…we must never forget that the euro is an instrument for this project” said Felipe Gonzalez, then Spanish prime minister.

    Even those who opposed the idea and refused to join agreed that the euro had little to do with economics.

    “A single currency is about the politics of Europe. It is about a Federal Europe by the back door,” John Major, the former U.K. prime minister, said two years before the euro was born and six months before being routed at the polls by Tony Blair.

    Historian Niall Ferguson wrote in this weekend’s Sunday Times that the euro’s founding fathers were well aware that the introduction of the euro would lead us to a crisis very like this one.

    The skeptics had warned that the inability of member states to devalue the currency would lead to a competitiveness crisis which would be made worse by an inflexible labor market that would not, for example, allow Spanish workers to move to Germany in order to meet demand. Inappropriate borrowing costs for some member states were also seen as a key problem, fueling boom-and-bust borrowing binges — the same kind that ultimately got nations like Greece into this trouble.

    In the first decade of the new century, despite dire warnings of trouble ahead, nearly every euro zone member borrowed more than was allowed under the EU’s stability and growth pact. Supposedly aimed at keeping government borrowing below 3 percent of gross domestic product , the pact was widely ignored, with even France and Germany failing to adhere to its terms. Even if the terms had been kept, they simply made it possible for governments to spend more than they earned by 3 percent, year after year.

    This policy kept politicians in power and helped drive a period of economic prosperity that resembled a really good party that no one wanted to leave. When the financial system imploded in the U.S. and then Europe, the party was over and the hangover was bad — really bad.

    Not everyone had the same kind of hangover, but collectively things looked pretty awful, with empty bottles everywhere and a number of ashtrays thrown across the floor. Greece, having started drinking before the party even began, woke up in the garden wondering what it had done with its clothes. Germany, having been careful about how much it drank, woke up in bed and started talking very loudly about the evils of alcohol and a need to show restraint.

    Machiavelli himself would have been proud of the euro’s founding fathers. They pushed through a policy against considerable opposition aimed at achieving a result that was not about economic union. Given Europe’s inability to get ahead of the debt crisis, it could need someone with Machiavelli’s talent for high politics to achieve the ultimate aim: political union. Maybe German Chancellor Angela Merkel has someone in mind and is confident all will work out as a result.

    • Yes ,i agree that the whole problems we are facing have more to do with the EU rather than economic hitmen. Still at the end its kind of the same thing ,when they try to exploit the crisis to their benefit only ,because that is what i am seeing as a historical fact too.

      Who knows the future? Only those that make it.

    • Demetri,

      I have posted the alternative here! A parallel silver based currency!

      BACK TO OUR EASTERN ROMAN SOLIDUS / NOMISMA! We know how to do it.

  • Dear Yannis, you say that the living standard for the majority in Greece has been reduced between 1993 and 2009 up to 65%. Can you point me to a survey or a paper (greek or english) where this is discussed please? Thank you.

  • From Dean Plassaras — yes,the same guy who invoked the name Fallmerayer to make some silly point:

    First a WARNING! When you decide to go against Dean in a public debate you have to be supremely prepared. Just try to project your personal best and then raised it in the power of 10. Just saying …

    It’s a pity that you don’t have the intellectual capacity to carry your arrogance and self-righteousness. Just sayin’…

    More from the self-rieghteous guy:

    When I get into these moods of abusing you, I just can’t help it.

    I see it more as self-abuse, Dean. Give it rest if you know what I mean.

  • Dear Yanis Varoufakis, did you read the ZEIT-article which is linked at the end of your interview (at “weil Griechenland am Ende ist”) ?
    That linked article “Einer muß das Licht ausmachen” (“someone has to turn off the light”) is exactly like the majority of german economical articles. It suggests without further proof that Merkel and her austerity-politicians are right and that voting for Nea Dimokratia/Pasok would be the way to go.

    A quote…”Es gibt die Vernunftliberalen, die auf die Sanierung ihres Landes setzen, und es gibt jene, die mit der Syriza-Linken auf ein Vorwärts in die Vergangenheit spekulieren.” Roughly translated: There are the reasonable (rational) Liberals who favour the stabilization of their country – and there are those who with voting for Syriza speculate about ‘ going down memory lane” (“let’s go forward – to the past”).

    FAZ, Zeit, Süddeutsche, taz, Handelsblatt, whatever – you find hundreds of similar opinions since many many moons now, not only in our yellow press like Bild or Focus. Well, at least “Zeit” allowed another opinion, printing your interview. Just that the paper makes sure with all that links that nobody takes alternate views too serious….

    • @klemperer85:

      Unfortunately my friend you are a lonely man in an endless dessert of German prejudice and inconceivable neoliberal stupidity!!!

      I feel sorry for you and all the other reasonable Germans who must feel just like beeing physically placed in a cheap horror film scenario!

      The dynamism of German intransigence is just unfolding in front of you and you can’t change it or stop it.

      It feels like a tragedy or a bad movie!

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