Interview with Der Standard: "Noch nie war Athen so bankrott wie heute"

sisyphusINTERVIEW with ANDREAS SATOR, April 25, 2014. Click here for THE STANDARD’s website or read on …

The protests in the streets of Athens have no end. For the economist Yanis Varoufakis is hardly surprising. Greece was by European standards a “failed state”.

The EU lie the people in Europe, says Yanis Varoufakis. The Union Bank was a joke, the situation in Greece devastating

Standard:  They say everyone who hears from the recovery of the Greek economy, has a moral duty, ironic laugh. Why?

Varoufakis:  from the recovery of an economy that puts six years of recession, one can only speak when investment and employment to rise and lending attracts. In Greece, none of this is the case.

Standard:  This week Greece has reissued but even bonds. No sign of recovery?

Varoufakis:  This is a cheap, political stunt. The EU is lying to the people of Europe. Never Greece was bankrupt as it is today. The country has 320 billion euros of debt, as much as 2010. But the Greek GDP has since shrunk to 40 billion euros. The only reason why investors this time bought the papers is that they are indirectly guaranteed by Berlin and Frankfurt, so the German government and the ECB. You want to explain this action only before the May election victory over the crisis.

Standard:  You have Greece called a “failed state”. Is not that a bit exaggerated?

Varoufakis:  There are different types of failed states. If you look in the context of the EU to Greece, then this is so. Two out of three households debts to the tax authorities can not repay. 3.5 million working Greeks have 1.3 million unemployed and received 4.5 million non-working Greeks. Two out of three business loans can not pay back a million households owe the power company money.

Standard:  As Greece comes out of it?

Varoufakis:  One has to face the truth. Greece is bankrupt. That was years ago. Instead of addressing this problem, Europe has the  insolvency abducted and given the country’s largest credit history. Greece must stop repay the debt, and find ways on how it stabilizes the economy. This is the only way to rid yourself from this situation.

Standard:  How can we stabilize the economy?

Varoufakis:  First, you have to address the Europe. The problem of Greece – too much debt, too little investment, insolvent banking sector – and have had a lot of countries in Europe. It makes no sense to treat the problem separately Greece. Second, there is in Europe a mountain of money that is moved back and forth between banks and financial markets fueling. The one must be used for productive investment.

Default:  How?

Varoufakis:  You’d need to not only control euros more. The European Investment Bank has a variety of interesting projects in the drawer are to join as Greece with a high-speed train with Austria. It finances its projects through bonds, the investors would love to buy up. You can see that the low interest rates to be paid by them. The projects are not realized because half of each investment must be privately funded and guaranteed by the local government. This guarantees a flow but in the Maastricht deficit. That no one wants to touch now. This could but just a way out of the crisis to be.

Standard:  Greece but had a big problem with its government spending. If more guarantees since the answer?

Varoufakis:  No doubt, the Greek government is very inefficient. The government spending but not higher than elsewhere. When an economy but as breaks and there is neither investment nor loans, then that is the only option. Of course, Greece has problems, but that’s not the reason why we talk now. The reason for this is the architecture of the euro zone. Had Greece not adopted the euro, so the problem would not exist. One has to start in the Great especially.

Standard:  This was done in the last few years, yes.

Varoufakis:   Where?

Standard:  In the banking union, for example. Commentators spoke of the most far-reaching reform in the last 20 years.

Varoufakis:  The Union Bank is one big joke. You will go down as the next great word shell of the EU in history. The 55 billion available for recapitalizations, not even enough for a large bank. There is also no common deposit insurance. What we have is thus only another EU propaganda tool.

Standard:  How much money is needed?

Varoufakis:  The ECB would have to be in the background, as this makes the central bank in the United States. In the crisis was unlimited in the U.S. money there. Also: Look at the animation of when a bank is to be settled. At the end of the decision making goes back to the nation-states. We do not have a banking union, but the thing called that. This is George Orwell, “1984”. ( Andreas Sator , THE STANDARD, 04/26/2014)
Yanis Varoufakis (53) is Professor of Economic Theory at the University of Athens. He is currently a guest lecturer at the University of Texas. He blogs regularly


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  • The biggerst problem is that you dont get taxes back and that for greece are not investment programms from eu. also all neighbor states have lower tax as greece – so all greek companies change to bulgaria ans do on ….

    also that we mus pay 14x saleries to the workers is a big problem – and the prices are to high for greece …

    • On the matter of the 14 monthly salaries per annum, it is not a problem. All that is happening is that the annual salary is divided by 14, rather than by 12, essentially forcing salary earners to save over the year in order to have extra spending money over the holidays.

  • A proper translation is required. In its current form, this is gobbledygook.

  • Hi Yanis,
    Sorry, I forgot to add what I intended sending.

    Check this out, no, I don’t know who the relevant economists are presenting
    at this Conference ?

    It was great meeting you in Sydney at your last Lecture. I’ve copied into
    this email what I have received.



    Με αφορμή την έκδοση του βιβλίου του Επίτιμου Καθηγητή Οικονομικών
    Επιστημών και Προέδρου του ΑΘΙΝΕΕ κ. Γρηγόρη Θ. Παπανίκου με τίτλο:

    *H* *Οικονομική Κρίση της Ελλάδος: Μία Ταξική Ανάλυση Υπέρ των Μνημονίων*

    σας προσκαλούμε σε έναν ανοικτό διάλογο που αφορά μία πρόταση οικονομικής
    ανάπτυξης της Ελλάδος. Η εκδήλωση θα πραγματοποιηθεί την *Δευτέρα 5 Μαΐου
    2014* και ώρα 17:30 στο Ξενοδοχείο ΤΙΤΑΝΙΑ (Πανεπιστημίου 52). Το πρόγραμμα
    της εκδήλωσης είναι διαθέσιμο: Σε
    ηλεκτρονική μορφή το βιβλίο διατίθεται δωρεάν: Στη διάρκεια της εκδήλωσης το
    βιβλίο θα διατίθεται και σε έντυπη μορφή.

    *Το βιβλίο θα παρουσιάσουν και σχολιάσουν οι:*

    1. κ. Σωτήρης Θεοδωρόπουλος, Καθηγητής Οικονομικών Επιστημών,
    Πανεπιστήμιο Πειραιώς.

    2. κ. Λάμπρος Πυργιώτης, Πρόεδρος, Σύνδεσμος Ελλήνων Περιφερειολόγων

    3. κ. Θάνος Σκούρας, Καθηγητής Οικονομικών Επιστημών και π.
    Αντιπρύτανης, Οικονομικό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών (π. ΑΣΟΕΕ).

    *Σύντομες παρεμβάσεις επί διαφορετικών όψεων του βιβλίου θα κάνουν (ο
    κατάλογος είναι ανοικτός):*

    1. κ. Ανδρέας Κιντής, π. Πρύτανης & Ομότιμος Καθηγητής Οικονομικών
    Επιστημών, Οικονομικό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών (πρώην ΑΣΟΕΕ).

    2. κ. Γρηγόρης Κάτσας, Αναπληρωτής Καθηγητής, Deree – Το
    Αμερικάνικο Κολέγιο της Ελλάδος.

    3. κ. Γεώργιος Μπολέτης, Μέλος Διοικητικού Συμβουλίου & Σύμβουλος
    Διεύθυνσης Μελετών, ΑΤΤΙΚΟ ΜΕΤΡΟ Α.Ε.

    4. κ. Βαγγέλης Κρητικός, Οικονομολόγος – Σύμβουλος Επιχειρήσεων.

    5. κα Ζωή Μπουτσιώλη, Οικονομολόγος της Υγείας & Διδάσκουσα,
    Ανοικτό Πανεπιστήμιο της Ελλάδος.

    Πληροφορίες και Δηλώσεις Συμμετοχής: κα Σήλια Σακκά ή κα Σταυρούλα Κυρίτση
    στο 210 3634210 ή στο [email protected]

    Αθηναϊκό Ινστιτούτο Εκπαίδευσης & Έρευνας (ΑΘΙΝΕΕ)

    Βαλαωρίτου 8, Κολωνάκι, 10671 Αθήνα, Τηλ.: 210 3634210 Φαξ: 210 3634209,
    E: [email protected] URL:

    Ms Mersina Tonys-Soulos, MA
    Ph.D. Candidate,

    Postal address:
    Dept. Modern History, Politics and International Relations
    Macquarie University, NSW. 2109

    Office location:
    Building W6A, Room 112
    Macquarie University NSW, Australia

    Tel: m. 0438 443 432
    Fax: +612 9850 6064

    Email: [email protected]