Minister No More!

The referendum of 5th July will stay in history as a unique moment when a small European nation rose up against debt-bondage.

Like all struggles for democratic rights, so too this historic rejection of the Eurogroup’s 25th June ultimatum comes with a large price tag attached. It is, therefore, essential that the great capital bestowed upon our government by the splendid NO vote be invested immediately into a YES to a proper resolution – to an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour of the needy, and real reforms.

Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.

I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum.

And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.

We of the Left know how to act collectively with no care for the privileges of office. I shall support fully Prime Minister Tsipras, the new Minister of Finance, and our government.

The superhuman effort to honour the brave people of Greece, and the famous OXI (NO) that they granted to democrats the world over, is just beginning.


  • I think it sound like a big surprise, probably expected such a choice in case of ‘OXI’ defeat … in any case, many thanks from an Italian citizen particularly attracted by Greece

  • Sacrificing the queen in order to please your opponent so close to the endgame?

    I hope this turns out well for greece. But I count this as a loss for honesty in politics.
    Maybe that’s naive, but I can’t help it.

    Anyway, thank you for doing a great service to democracy!

    • Kleptocracy: I’m referring to this (from the article mentioned above):
      “Neither Greece’s ailment, nor its cure, is its currency, be it the euro or the drachma, or its pensions—whether too low or too high. Greece’s cancer is the purely domestic cleptocracy which has been sucking the country dry for at least thirty-five years (that’s as far back as I can remember, older people may argue this may have been going on for much longer).” He then gives an example of the organized crime in Greece that dominates the black market for oil. More on that is here:

  • Now I am certain that the game we are playing is chess and not backgammon. Good move thank you Yanis.
    PS my daughter (18 and 1st time voter) said that you don’t have the looks of Ifigenia but let’s hope that a wind of change will blow stronger now

  • Well done Greece. Hopefully, albeit at great cost to your own people, you’ve broken the stranglehold of the kleptocrats in Brussels who have forgotten what democracy means. The lost generation of young Europeans destroyed by the bankster-created sovereign debt crisis still plaguing the EU can only welcome your OXI.

  • Yiani, promise you will continue to provide commentary on the second bit of the puzzle, reform of the Greek economy to create a meritocracy so its best and brightest by can aspire to, and be rewarded by, becoming more than tenured civil servants.

  • While I fundamentally disagree with your economics and politics I am sad to see you resign.

    Take Care Paddy

    Paddy Hackett


  • “I shall wear the loathing of the creditors with pride” – you, sir, are a class act and your nation is the poorer for your resignation…

  • Thank you Yani, finally a good decision! You must think we are as gullible as your students however. You have resigned because Tsipras is running to Brussels to sign the deal that was available before you had your farcical referendum and you cannot live with that. You are not leaving because the Eurogroup does not like you. You have put the country through this charade for nothing. Cheers and have fun back in Texas. Here is my view on the glorious OXI by the way:

    • Are you aware that Yanis is an elected member of the Greek Parliament w/ highest vote number? What Texas and green horses are you talking about?

  • Yanis, well done. You have set the bar very high. We are proud of you. You had promised to remain a member of the greek parliament. Please remain and keep an eye on them. If in fact the agreement comes, SYRIZA will have to prove that it can hard on its own friends in order to fight corruption. Now take a break, tweet and blog more!! We will await you here!!

  • It’s hard to see a coherent strategy in a party that keeps snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Yanis, please stay on and issue an alternate internal currency for Greece, perhaps as special Currency Chief Minister if not as Finance Minister. Your work and Syriza’s is not yet done! Democracy needs you!

  • Varoufakis is though the archetype of the new (been new for ever)Greek human beeing.Strong and honest and not permitting anything mean and poor into his range of power.So I ‘ ll keep been friends with him having always an ear on his speech and mind.Thanks Yannis.Greeks wiil rise up to your example soon.Starting studing
    your lesson.Good Day.Ernest to hear from you soon.
    Martha Simeonidou

  • Reblogged this on ΤΡΕΛΛΗ ΣΑΡΑΝΤΑΡΑ and commented:
    Τίτλοι τέλους στην ηγεσία του Υπουργείου Οικονομικών, αλλά όχι στο μετερίζι της διαπραγμάτευσης γενικότερα.

  • Είστε ήδη κομμάτι μας, κομμάτι της Ιστορίας αυτού του τόπου. Τϊποτε δε θα είναι πια ίδιο χωρίς εσάς, σας ευχαριστώ για όσα κάνατε για μας και για την Ελλάδα. Είναι ίδιο του καλού manager να φεύγει όταν πιστεύει ότι δεν έχει μείνει κάτι άλλο να κάνει πια, αλλά θα μου λείψει η καθημερινή επαφή και ο ζωντανός λόγος σας. Θα αρκεστώ στον γραπτό και σε κάποιες συνεντεύξεις όπως τόσα χρόνια τώρα. Να είστε καλά και να προσέχετε τον εαυτό σας, σας χρειαζόμαστε στη ζωή μας.

  • Isn’t Time for Yanis to become the next Governor of the Bank of Greece ?
    Will the other John Stournaras help the government by resigning as well ?

    • Interesting! In this blog one learns from many of the comments too :). That Yanis Varoufakis will play an important role is clear, whatever it might be. At least there might be some, if not many, politicians of the future who will rather take him as someone to look up to instead of all those, yes, spineless, opportunistic carrierists everywhere in the USA, Europe, and all around.

  • I have never ever seen a politician like you, Yanis. What a help, one can’t find words for it, you are for Greece. And for Europe. And all this against those many new journalists who came out of their journalist-schools where they are taught to be carrierists! I still see this horrible Spiegel-article of Jurek Skrobala about style and what on earth he was on blurbing about against you before me (not only the yellow press can make you blue and yellow in the face^^). And against Martin Schulz, Merkel, Schäuble, Draghi, Lagarde, to leave the politician who followed neoliberal austerity the most out in this list for one time^^.

    You said you’d never become a politician. Yet you showed the world how a politician would have to be, certainly not in the EU where many are not even elected. They were stunned, enwrapped in their strategies and lies, that Syriza and you meant what it had said…

    Well, what can we say, thanks, thanks thanks. And to a good future. We were so happy yesterday night here in Hamburg, even if we clearly see the problems, that the EU and Merkel (here she is^^) will still try to break Greece even more, but – now there is hope, and all the very best, Really, as a kid I was happy that there was a Willy Brandt, I hardly understood what he stood for yet one knew he wanted to go into the right directions. Now there was you, and you described the world of politicians most accurately, yet still helped Greece. And the left and others who are against austerity in Europe. All of those that now should, and could, wake up at last.


    • KIemperer85, I absoIuteIy second your words and your saIute and choose to express it this way, not speaking on my own but as a Greek supporting the golden words of a German and feIIow European citizen.

      We – Greek and European citizens – saIute you Yani and we fuIIy understand that your participation and contribution is in no way finished but wiII take a new form!

  • Reblogged this on Ya,ya,ya and commented:
    Gracias Varoufakis, por ser como eres!
    Lo que no podrá exigir el gran capital y sus lacayos es que siga explicando y explicándonos a todos de que va todo este tinglado de intereses,rutinas y mediocridad de a UE.
    Jamás un ministro de finanzas,o economista ha hablado con tanta claridad a los políticos,a los financieros y a la ciudadanía.
    Es la pieza que se cobra el fracaso de Merkel, Jeroen y demás malas hierbas.

  • Reblogged this on Appunti Scomodi and commented:
    Le dimissioni del ministro greco dell’Economia, Yanis Varoufakis, che lascia nonostante la vittoria del no al referendum sull’austerity: “Mi dimetto per aiutare il premier Alexis Tsipras nelle trattative con l’Unione Europea”.

  • Για πρωτη φορά όσα χρονια ζω κ αντιλαμβάνομαι τι συμβαινει γύρω μου ανέλαβε υπουργός οικονομικών στην Ελλαδα ενας έντιμος, ηθικός ανθρωπος κ ταυτόχρονα επιστήμονας οικονομικών… Γιαννη σε ευχαριστούμε για ολα…Θα προτιμουσα να παραιτηθούν αυτοί που δε θα “εκτιμούσαν” την παρουσία σου στις διαπραγματεύσεις… Ευχομαι ο επόμενος υπουργός να ακολουθεί τα χνάρια σου και να σταθεί στο δικό σου “ύψος” με αξιοπρέπεια κ θάρρος!

  • I am the anarchist who doesn’t like systems and I want everyone to know that anarchists change the world!
    The lecture circuit is another vocation ideal for eloquent radicalintellectuals!

  • Aγαπητέ Yanis,
    Λίγες ώρες μετά την επιλογή σου στη θέση του υπουργού τον Ιανουάριο, σου είχα στείλει μήνυμα με τίτλο «””Don’t forget it Yanis” (έχοντας υπόψη δικό σου δημοσίευμα προς τον συνονόματο σου πρώην υπουργό κ.Στουρνάρα και φοβούμενη ότι η υπουργική καρέκλα θα σε κάνει να ξεχάσεις όσα με πάθος υποστήριζες πριν).
    Όμως η σημερινή σου απομάκρυνση -κατ΄ απαίτηση των δανειστών-, μάλλον αποδεικνύει ότι έχεις καλή μνήμη…
    Και παρ ότι δεν συμφωνώ συνολικά με τους χειρισμούς της κυβέρνησης (επιεικώς επιπόλαιες), όπως και με τη δική σου στάση (70% αποδεκτό μνημόνιο κλπ), παρ΄ όλα αυτά θεωρώ ότι η απομάκρυνση σου (αμέσως μετά το ηχηρό «όχι» του λαού), αποτελεί ένα πρώιμο σημάδι μετατόπισης της «πρώτης φορά αριστερά» κυβέρνησης προς τα δεξιά!
    Όπως η επιλογή Παυλόπουλου ήταν για μένα το ορόσημο, μετά το οποίο η απομάκρυνση από το «πρόγραμμα της Θεσαλονίκης» ήταν δεδομένη, κατ΄ αναλογία και η δική σου» απομάκρυνση σηματοδοτεί υπογραφή υφεσιακής συμφωνίας με τους δανειστές.
    Περιμένω, όταν η συγκυρία το επιτρέπει, το βιβλίο σου με αποκαλύψεις για το παρασκήνιο των eurogroups…
    Εκτός και αν γίνει η μεγάλη έκπληξη και σε δούμε «χαλίφη στη θέση του χαλίφη», ήτοι κεντρικό τραπεζίτη στη θέση του Στουρνάρα!!!

  • Dear Yanis: Again…congratulations for all that work. I hope that in your absence there is no backtracking on fundamentals. My view has been all along that the fundamental problem is actually with the Euro, the Eurozone, and Germany’s determination to conduct an export policy that makes it impossible for stabilizing processes to operate. Aggressively competing against your partners in a monetary union, and then unwisely exporting capital in the form of debt — is terrible. I am with Krugman, Stiglitz, and Galbraith — as you must know.

    All the best, brave and honorable man.

    Patrick from Montreal

  • I do not think this is a good idea: Europe needs outspoken statesmen like you and not secrecy in dark corridors. I believe it is a step back and a shadow on the resounding NO! of yesterday.

    IF Tsipras signs anything that does not make the debt sustainable, as you have repeatedly demanded, then he should resign and call elections.

  • Reblogged this on Martha Simeonidou and commented:
    Varoufakis is the archetype of the new (been new for ever)Greek human beeing.Strong and honest and not permitting anything mean and poor into his range of power.So I ‘ ll keep been friends with him having always an ear on his speech and mind.Thanks Yannis.Greeks wiil rise up to your example soon.Starting studing
    your lesson.Good Day.Ernest to hear from

  • Authenticity, common decency and respect for others, including those other others. Thank you for this choice that will have influence far more wide-reaching in its importance for all of us than staying to continue trying (quite possibly in a double bind) would have done.

  • Yiani, I have in the past wondered how have you managed to last that long….the gap between you and the Eurogroup “coleagues” was and still is abyssal. They did and do not have the mental and educational know how but more importantly they have surrendered to the powers they manipulate them, being “interests” or love of the seat they occupy. (they would be unemployed without it). The best thing that has happened to Europe was your coming to the political scene. At the same time they were extremely afraid of you and your uncovering of truth that they so painstakingly cover. Thank you!

    • You are addressing him as if the person is no longer there. Yanis is and will continue to be the strategist of the Greek position. The man behind the Plan.

      His giving up a particular office came at the height of his accomplishment and is completely under his own terms. No one could or ever would force Yanis out.

  • Not even 24 hours after the historic NO vote, and out you go … WOW!

    … certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement.

    Excuse my French, but the Greek Prime Minister needs to grow some balls.

    And, Yani … your duty first and foremost is to the citizens of Greece.

    Who here thinks the next finance minster will be Panayotis Lafazanis? Thought so — no one, lest the Greek government risk upsetting again “some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners.”

    Disappointed does not even begin to describe how I feel this morning 🙁

    • If indeed this was a move by the PM to bring in a bigger hardliner to the FM post (like Lafazanis), OK then I get it.

      Interesting few days up ahead

  • And just let me add what – in the midst of the usual media blurb of “the greek government did not do her homework” (“Deutschlandfunk” and so on) a good friend from abroad wrote to me. On such a day we don’t need any netiquette, I think, so what she said sums it up wonderfully:

    “klemp”, the fuckers forced him out.

    I think this is another wonderful way to honour your work.

  • This should have been the Greek Prime Minister’s reply to the thugs:

    “OXI! ”

    And then he should have added,

    “How about some European participants and assorted partners step down instead, as their absence from the meetings’ will no doubt be extremely helpful in reaching an agreement?”

  • Well, I think that Tsipras really had no choice. Not because of anything Dr. Varoufakis has done, though! It is just that his very presence at meetings underlines the incompetence and stupidity of the “Presidents”, TROIKA and creditors. Sophocles would have understood! Varoufakis’s very success as finance minister has been his undoing in this case, as he has so thoroughly bamboozled, out-thought and outplayed his putative counterparts in negotiation at every turn. Humiliated them again and again by his brilliance, erudition and good manners. This is an intelligent concession, a show of Greek magnanimity towards the pusillanimous “5 presidents”.

  • Great to see you come back out of the labyrinth as you went in. The Minotaur is still alive, but quite confused as you gave him some good slaps … well done 🙂


    Ευρωπαϊκά σχέδια να τεθεί η Ελλάδα σε καραντίνα

    Τρόπους de jure αναστολής της ιδιότητας του κράτους-μέλους της Ευρωζώνης, στην περίπτωση που η Ελλάδα εισέλθει σε τροχιά εξόδου από το κοινό νόμισμα, αναζητούν ήδη τις τελευταίες ημέρες στις Βρυξέλλες. Παράλληλα, καταρτίζουν σχέδια παροχής ανθρωπιστικής βοήθειας για την αντιμετώπιση των άμεσων επιπτώσεων της χρεοκοπίας και της κατάρρευσης της οικονομίας.

    Νομικός τρόπος εξόδου από την Ευρωζώνη δεν υπάρχει, ούτε η Συνθήκη του Μάαστριχτ, ούτε η Συνθήκη της Λισσαβώνας προέβλεψαν κάτι τέτοιο, συνειδητά, θεωρώντας την ένταξη μη αναστρέψιμη. Επίσης, δεν προέβλεψαν τίποτα για την περίπτωση της χρεοκοπίας ενός κράτους-μέλους. Ωστόσο, καθώς τα ρευστά διαθέσιμα της χώρας έχουν εξαντληθεί, εάν δεν επέλθει μια συμφωνία χρηματοδότησης εντός των επομένων λίγων ημερών, η Ελλάδα είναι πιθανό να χρειαστεί να θέσει σε κυκλοφορία κάποιο είδος συναλλακτικού μέσου για τις συναλλαγές στο εσωτερικό, έως ότου μπορέσει να τυπώσει ένα δικό της νόμισμα. Η Ελλάδα θα είναι de facto εκτός Ευρωζώνης, αλλά de jure θα έχει ακόμη την ιδιότητα του μέλους. Σύμφωνα με νομικούς, ο μόνος τρόπος εξόδου από την Ευρωζώνη είναι ίσως η έξοδος από την Ε.Ε. Εξάλλου, κι αυτό είναι θέμα χρόνου να συμβεί, αφού, ύστερα από μια άτακτη χρεοκοπία, είναι μάλλον αμφίβολο εάν η Αθήνα θα εφαρμόζει τους κανόνες της Ενωσης στην οικονομία, την ενέργεια, την αγροτική πολιτική κ.λπ. Σε κάθε περίπτωση, το Grexit θα είναι μια μακρά, περίπλοκη και επώδυνη διαδικασία, η οποία θα συντελεστεί εν τοις πράγμασι πολύ πριν πάρει και νομική μορφή.

    Αντιμέτωπες με το ορατό σενάριο της οριστικής ρήξης και της οικονομικής κατάρρευσης της Ελλάδας, οι υπηρεσίες της Κομισιόν και της ΕΚΤ έχουν λάβει εντολή να επεξεργαστούν σενάρια γι’ αυτή την ενδιάμεση κατάσταση, στην οποία θα βρεθεί η χώρα. «Ισως πρέπει να μάθουμε να ζούμε με μια χώρα μέλος της Ευρωζώνης σε χρεοκοπία. Ισως πρέπει να προετοιμάσουμε όλο τον οργανισμό, την Ευρωζώνη και την Ε.Ε., να ζει με χώρες με τέτοια προβλήματα, σαν αυτά που έχει σήμερα η Ελλάδα», είπε την Παρασκευή ο πρόεδρος του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου Ντόναλντ Τουσκ, σε συνέντευξή του στο Politico.

    Μια πιθανή λύση είναι να τεθεί η Ελλάδα σε μια αίθουσα αναμονής του ευρώ –τυπικά όχι εκτός, αλλά σε ένα είδος καραντίνας της Ευρωζώνης– έως ότου είναι σε θέση να επαναδιαπραγματευτεί την επιστροφή της. Το σχέδιο αυτό έχει δύο στόχους: πρώτον, να περιορίσει το πλήγμα στο πολιτικό project του ευρώ, καθώς θα εμφανίζει το Grexit προσωρινό και δυνητικά αναστρέψιμο. Δεύτερον, να περιορίσει τον κίνδυνο «μόλυνσης», να αντιμετωπίσει τις επιπλοκές κατά τη μακρά περίοδο μέχρι την εισαγωγή ενός νέου νομίσματος. Τι θα γίνει σε αυτό το διάστημα που η Ελλάδα θα είναι τύποις μέλος του ευρώ; Θα συμμετέχει στα Eurogroup; Θα συμμετέχει ο διοικητής της ΤτΕ στα διοικητικά συμβούλια της ΕΚΤ, θα έχει δικαίωμα ψήφου; Ποια θα είναι η σχέση του ελληνικού τραπεζικού συστήματος με το Ευρωσύστημα; Βεβαίως, όλα αυτά είναι προς το παρόν ασκήσεις επί χάρτου, πιθανώς οι ευσεβείς πόθοι κάποιων φεντεραλιστών της Ευρώπης. Δεδομένου ότι, κατά πάσα βεβαιότητα, απαιτούνται αλλαγές στις συνθήκες, τον λόγο θα έχουν οι κυβερνήσεις. Είναι άγνωστο ποιες δυνάμεις θα απελευθερώσει η απόλυτη ρήξη, τόσο στην Ελλάδα όσο και στα άλλα κράτη-μέλη και πώς θα γραφτούν οι επόμενες σελίδες της σχέσης της χώρας με την Ευρώπη.

    Αυτό στο οποίο φαίνεται ότι θα υπάρξει μια μίνιμουμ συμφωνία είναι ότι η Ελλάδα θα υποστηριχθεί με ανθρωπιστική βοήθεια, προκειμένου να αντιμετωπίσει τις ανάγκες της σε βασικά είδη, όπως καύσιμα, τρόφιμα, φάρμακα κ.λπ. Σύμφωνα με ασφαλείς πληροφορίες, στην Ε.Ε., αλλά και σε κάποιες πρωτεύουσες έχουν επεξεργαστεί κατά το παρελθόν τέτοια σενάρια. Βασική πηγή χρηματοδότησης της βοήθειας, με τη μορφή έκτακτων δανείων, θα είναι ο προϋπολογισμός της Ε.Ε. και τεχνογνωσία θα προσφέρει ο ΟΗΕ.

  • The ‘creditor’s loathing’, a badge to be worn with pride – and no doubt helped galvanise the Greek people in this historic moment. It is hard not to worry that this signals soft pedaling and capitulation from Syriza.

  • Ironies from the past:

    At London Conference of 1953, the Greek Minister of Finance signed a treaty agreeing to cancel 50% of Germany’s debt!

    What was good for Germany in 1953 is good for Greece in 2015 — Larry Elliott, Economic Editor of The Guardian

    Economic assistance under the Marshall plan was important to both countries, but it was the granting of debt relief that made a difference to the Germans

    • And Piketty:

      Germany Shouldn’t Be Telling Greece To Repay Debt

      But Piketty, who penned the blockbuster 2013 book on income inequality Capital in the Twenty-First Century, slammed conservatives who favor the economic austerity measures Germany and France are demanding of Greece, saying they demonstrate a “shocking ignorance” of European history.

      “Look at the history of national debt: Great Britain, Germany, and France were all once in the situation of today’s Greece, and in fact had been far more indebted,” Piketty said. “The first lesson that we can take from the history of government debt is that we are not facing a brand new problem.”

      Germany, Piketty continued, has “no standing” to lecture other nations about debt repayment, having never paid back its own debts after both World Wars.

      “However, it has frequently made other nations pay up, such as after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, when it demanded massive reparations from France and indeed received them,” Piketty said. “The French state suffered for decades under this debt. The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.”

    • More “ironically” at London Conference Germany’s debt was 60% cancelled. Perhaps falsify budgets (as is said to have been made in Greece until 2009) is much more criminal than causing two World Wars …

  • “And let’s be clear: if Greece ends up leaving the euro, it won’t mean that the Greeks are bad Europeans. Greece’s debt problem reflected irresponsible lending as well as irresponsible borrowing, and in any case the Greeks have paid for their government’s sins many times over. If they can’t make a go of Europe’s common currency, it’s because that common currency offers no respite for countries in trouble. The important thing now is to do whatever it takes to end the bleeding.”

  • In a result that should surprise no one, the Greeks voted to reject European demands for additional austerity measures as the price for providing funds to allow Greek banks to operate. There are three reasons this should have been no surprise.

    First, the ruling Coalition of the Radical Left, or Syriza party, is ruling because it has an understanding of the Greek mood.

    Second, the constant scorn and contempt that the European leadership heaped on the prime minister and finance minister convinced the Greeks not only that the scorn was meant for them as well but also that anyone so despised by the European leadership wasn’t all bad.

    Finally, and most important, the European leadership put the Greek voters in a position in which they had nothing to lose. The Greeks were left to choose between two forms of devastation — one that was immediate but possible to recover from, and one that was a longer-term strangulation with no exit.

    • Tsipras and Varoufakis are one and the same. They are our intelligent leaders at a time our country needs them the most.

      We have seen enough fire and rain already. Time to inspire our people and lead them to victory:

    • The Greeks’ resounding NO victory was stunning considering that they voted under trying circumstances — bank closings, fear of losing savings, threats of euro expulsion, etc.. As great as the margin of victory was, imagine how much wider it would have been without the shenanigans. Sincerely, how would anyone of us here have voted if our entire life savings were in a bank account in some Greek bank?

      No, the courageous Greek people don’t need to be inspired — they already are!

      As for the Greek leadership, including the new FM, it remains to be seen if they are as courageous and inspired as the Greek people. Remember: it’s the little people that fight in the front lines and suffer, not the rich — they vamoose the first chance they get when the proverbial shit hits the fan!

      And regarding a Grexit … I don’t care that SIRIZA and the majority of the population want to remain with the euro. A responsible government makes plans for a “worst case” scenario (*) if it eventually comes to that. And don’t give me any bull that it can’t happen.

      (*) In the opinion of many currency experts, it would be the smartest thing the Greeks can do — leave the eurozone. But … if properly planned and executed! AIKA! So, are they ready?

    • You guys forget that no country can leave or be expelled from the Eurozone, not legally at least. A sovereign state like Greece can of course leave the EU (and therefore the Eurozone, although it can also continue using the euro, as Montenegro does – or Ecuador does with the US dollar).

      The EU cannot in any case expel a member state, it can suspend membership but ONLY in case of breach of the so-called EU’s founding values, which are not about economy but about democracy, human rights, human dignity, rule of law, respect to minorities, etc. The only such case ever was when the fascist FPÖ ruled Austria. Identification of the breach requires consensus of all member states (except the accused one), after such identification sanctions may be determined by qualified majority.

      In other words: Greece could still declare bankruptcy, intervene its economy (nationalize companies, impose capital controls, issue IOUs denominated in euros, etc.) and nobody could legally kick it out of the EU, much less the Eurozone. Only violations of democracy or human rights could be cause for a suspension and sanctions. Such circumstance clearly does not apply to Greece, it could apply to Spain, Hungary… but not to Greece.

    • Of course Greece is prepared to leave the eurozone. That’s the essence of this complete triumph. Greece has 2 brilliant choices:

      1. Either it gets what it wants and stays in the eurozone thus preserving the trading block which is the ultimate German objective.


      2. Greece exits the eurozone and does far better for itself outside plus it delivers a fatal blow to the Germanic notion of Europe as a unified trade area w/ a common currency.

      In either case Greece is the clear winner. This is precisely what makes Berlin hit the ceiling and run for cover. They lost already and they know it. It’s now a question of face saving.

  • Greece Referendum: Syriza Didn’t Get The Message — By Michael Nevradakis, 99GetSmart

    Varoufakis is escaping at just the right time, as a few hours later on Monday, Tsipras was given the “green light” by the leaders of all of the political parties represented in the Greek parliament, sans the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), to come to an agreement with the “institutions.” Tsipras and other SYRIZA officials have, again, stated their repeated intention to keep Greece within the Eurozone. Tsipras and others, including Varoufakis, have never acknowledged the findings of their own government’s “debt truth commission,” which found that most of Greece’s public debt is illegal and odious and the repayment of which would be a violation of the Greek people’s human rights. Tsipras, instead, has stated his intention to follow the recommendations of the “good cop” (the IMF) in merely requesting a “debt haircut” of 30% and a 20-year “grace period.” Following Varoufakis’ resignation, Tsipras was said to be considering a broader cabinet shake-up which would include more “centrist” elements that would then continue negotiations with the creditors.

    The rest is here:

  • Europe is blowing itself apart over Greece – and nobody seems able to stop it — by A E-P

    Greek premier Alexis Tsipras never expected to win Sunday’s referendum on EMU bail-out terms, let alone to preside over a blazing national revolt against foreign control.

    He called the snap vote with the expectation – and intention – of losing it. The plan was to put up a good fight, accept honourable defeat, and hand over the keys of the Maximos Mansion, leaving it to others to implement the June 25 “ultimatum” and suffer the opprobrium.

    This ultimatum came as a shock to the Greek cabinet. They thought they were on the cusp of a deal, bad though it was. Mr Tsipras had already made the decision to acquiesce to austerity demands, recognizing that Syriza had failed to bring about a debtors’ cartel of southern EMU states and had seriously misjudged the mood across the eurozone.

    They rejected Greek plans to work with the OECD on market reforms, and with the International Labour Organisation on collective bargaining laws. They stuck rigidly to their script, refusing to recognise in any way that their own Dickensian prescriptions have been discredited by economists from across the world.

    “They just didn’t want us to sign. They had already decided to push us out,” said the now-departed finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

    So Syriza called the referendum. To their consternation, they won, igniting the great Greek revolt of 2015, the moment when the people finally issued a primal scream, daubed their war paint, and formed the hoplite phalanx.

    Mr Tsipras is now trapped by his success. “The referendum has its own dynamic. People will revolt if he comes back from Brussels with a shoddy compromise,” said Costas Lapavitsas, a Syriza MP.

    “Tsipras doesn’t want to take the path of Grexit, but I think he realizes that this is now what lies straight ahead of him,” he said. ,

    Syriza has been in utter disarray for 36 hours. On Tuesday, the Greek side turned up for a make-or-break summit in Brussels with no plans at all, even though Germany and its allies warned them at the outset that this is their last chance to avert ejection.

    The new finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, vaguely offered to come up with something by Wednesday, almost certainly a rejigged version of plans that the creditors have already rejected.

    Events are now spinning out of control. The banks remain shut. The ECB has maintained its liquidity freeze, and through its inaction is asphyxiating the banking system.

    Factories are shutting down across the country as stocks of raw materials run out and containers full of vitally-needed imports clog up Greek ports. Companies cannot pay their suppliers because external transfers are blocked. Private scrip currencies are starting to appear as firms retreat to semi-barter outside the banking system.


    The rest of A E-P’s article is here.

    • That’s a curious speculation but I don’t believe a word of it: on one side, Syriza was already growing a lot in the opinion polls (while ND is collapsing and no third party is growing): if they called snap elections they could do nothing not to win an absolute majority, on the other, the Troika is not and will not offer anything worth signing, Syriza knows it and what they actually want (at least some of them) is to make sure that Greece is fully aware and supportive when they have to break up the chains and go “bolivarian”, what will happen almost certainly in few months, maybe weeks (unless the USA forces Germany to concede on fear of losing ground to Russia, China and Venezuela).

      This has two possible exits: (a) Germany concedes and the right wing of Syriza wins a precious time for social-democratic reforms, (b) Germany reaffirms itself in its destructive madness, Greece, under a more leftist version of Syriza (maybe after snap elections) begins behaving as if the EU does not exist, with all kinds of unilateral measures, including issuing a parallel currency of IOUs, until suspended of membership (which is the only thing the Council can do, assuming consensus among all the other members), and the EU continues its determined path to self-destruction with the slow-acting poison of Austerian Liberalism, whose effects are similar to leper (that’s really masochistic, I know, but I’m a heavy smoker so I know that people can and will do self-destructive idiocies, same for non-representative institutions where acritical self-reassuring groupthink dominates).

      Some people believe that Greece will not dare (and Syriza is only acting as the representation, the visible head of the Greek majority, let’s be fair: it’s Greece, and not just Syriza). But the reality is that Greece can do little else than daring, that the Troika knows it and is making everything (tiny carrot, big stick) so Greece doesn’t even have time to breath, much as in an endless session of torture. But the torture is actually affecting mostly those Greeks who may support the Troika: the bourgeois classes, whose influence in the urns is small (they own the media, yes, but nobody seems to care about the media any more, so nearly pointless). The vast majority of Greeks are almost the same (in dire poverty) with or without capital controls, with or without limit to what they can take from their accounts daily.

      The ball is in the German court. It has always been there, just that Germany is not accepting it and is demanding once and again that Greece serves… the head of its own citizenry on a silver platter.

    • Yet, Maju, SheubIe is standing ready with his famous 3rd excIusiveIy German bailout of 5O bn, which he has been proposing since 2O13 and which every greek government has insisted it does not need. Quite rightIy, since Germany wouId then entireIy own HeIIas.

    • This goes to show how superficial the local “Grexit” narrative has remained, in its supposed rebuttal “from the left” of Yanis Varoufakis’ pro-euro strategy. Costas needs reminding that Greek “banks” have already been “taken over” by the state (HFSF) since their recapitalisation in 2012-13.

      The only one that remains firmly in the hands of the ECB “eurosystem” is the Bank of Greece, used against ECB Charter and BoG statutes to demolish the Greek credit system, in gross derelictions of their respective duties and in violation of international law (UN Council resolutions on “unwarranted imposition” of extreme economic sanctions and, obviously, the Law of Necessity).

      By taking over the Bank of Greece, the Greek state is entitled to use Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) literally as well as legally to overcome a true State of Emergency foreseen by the EU Treaties, for the purpose of refinancing Greek bank and market liquidity needs for at least a month, from existing BoG security cash reserves now totalling €18-20 billion.

      This would allow ample time for restoration of credit system stability (and even the gradual re-deposit of locally hoarded €40 billion in cash) while, at the same time, negotiating with beloved “partners, creditors” and assorted troika “institutions” from a position of absolute legitimacy and moral strength within the Euro, also sanctioned by a possible European Court of Justice injunction against ECB “credit asphyxiation” measures.

      And even if BoG euro reserves get depleted, the nationalised central bank can legitimately issue €-denominated IOUs, that have nothing to do with despearate MinFin issuance of pegged IOUs that are only a precursor to dual-currency and ultimately disorderly Grexit.

    • “Costas needs reminding that Greek “banks” have already been “taken over” by the state (HFSF) since their recapitalisation in 2012-13”.

      He is very aware and mentions that in the interview: the state owns the majority of stock but for some reason doesn’t have vote in the banks’ management, which is in the hands of the remaining private stockholders. Surely some other stupid Troika imposition (I’m not knowledgeable enough to say but seems Kostas is).

      “The only one that remains firmly in the hands of the ECB “eurosystem” is the Bank of Greece”…

      I was later made aware of some article by Evans-Pritchard at the conservative British diary The Telegraph (Sunday 5th), in which he argues that the only way ahead roughly in the same lines of Lapavitsas but he emphasizes the takeover of the national bank, its alleged “secret reserves”, etc., which, according to his speculation, would happen via declaration of the state of emergency.

      So roughly what you say, Dimitris. One thing does not have to conflict with the other but of course it is up to the Greek Government and Parliament to decide.

    • By taking over the Bank of Greece, the Greek state …

      As Yves Smith on her blog NC points out, the BOG is “effectively a ECB operation”. They seize it and not only are they looking at a Grexit but also a suspension from the EU.

    • There is no legal basis for any sort of Eurozone expulsion or even voluntary desertion. Also, to use the Greek legal frame to seize the BoG does not violate any founding principle of the EU of the kind that are grounds for “suspension” (violation of human rights, lack of democracy…) Greece is certainly facing a national emergency situation, caused by the ECB in clear violation of its own statutes, which must be addressed.

      Of course the position of Greece would be safer if it had at least one ally, not in the Eurogroup but in the Council, who would veto any attempt at “suspension”. I believe that Greece is getting them in the form of France and the Czech Republic (Tusk is being quite outspoken) and that there may be others because Greece can argue very legitimately that it had no other choice and that the one at fault is the ECB in fact. It would certainly stand at the European Court of Justice (which incidentally is presided by a Greek magistrate).

      In any case, Greece has nothing to lose (except, as someone said, its chains). What can be worse than the current situation? War? Well, we can be content then that Germany does not have armed forces able to face the Greek ones and that it does not have the nuclear bomb. Also I guess it’s good that both countries do not share a border: if Germany would be in the geography of the Republic of Macedonia or Greece in that of Denmark, I’d imagine that war would be a serious possibility. And I wouldn’t bet for a German victory in that case, really.

    • The BoG IS the Greek branch office of the ECB. It is not a traditionaI nationaI Treasury. No need for naked capitalism to qualify it with “effectiveIy”.

  • Amazing piece by AEP:

    “”They just didn’t want us to sign. They had already decided to push us out,” said the now-departed finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

    So Syriza called the referendum. To their consternation, they won, igniting the great Greek revolt of 2015, the moment when the people finally issued a primal scream, daubed their war paint, and formed the hoplite phalanx.

    Mr Tsipras is now trapped by his success. “The referendum has its own dynamic. People will revolt if he comes back from Brussels with a shoddy compromise,” said Costas Lapavitsas, a Syriza MP.”
    “Tsipras doesn’t want to take the path of Grexit, but I think he realizes that this is now what lies straight ahead of him,” he said.


    Not one EU country gave a shit. Not one.

    And how is Portugal doing? A third of its young people unemployed. Idiots!

    Plassaras, be so kind and post the image of the Weeping Athena.

    • Don’t be ridiculous. Greeks are brave people. Their bravery is not conditional on fair weather “friends” or euro-cowards. So much you should understand.

    • From the same article you and I posted, by AEP:

      This ultimatum [June 25 deadline] came as a shock to the Greek cabinet. They thought they were on the cusp of a deal, bad though it was. Mr Tsipras had already made the decision to acquiesce to austerity demands, recognizing that Syriza had failed to bring about a debtors’ cartel of southern EMU states and had seriously misjudged the mood across the eurozone.

      Why are you conflating the Greek people with the Greek government? One thing about Greek governments of late is that they never cease not to surprise.

      OK, so you won’t post the image. Then I will — as soon as I find it and figure out how images are posted in wordpress. Unless someone else here will be so kind 🙂

    • Year, right! Syriza shocked! Here we are playing Schauble like a piano and he doesn’t know at amy given moment what is real and what is not and you want us to tell you and explain all tactics in advance?

      Greece has WON. That’s all you need to know for now.

    • Plassaras, is it true that images can not be inserted in wordpress comments, unlike youtube videos?

  • BEST ROCK BALLADS: Eagles – Farewell 1 Tour – Live From Melbourne Hotel California Live with Trumpet intro |   | |   | |   |   |   |   |   | | BEST ROCK BALLADS: Eagles – Farewell 1 Tour – Live From …Eagles – Farewell 1 Tour – Live From Melbourne Hotel California Live with Trumpet intro Αναρτήθηκε απόAntonis Mpitrosστις1/23/2013 01:52:00 μ.μ. | | | | Προβολή στη διεύθυνση bestr… | Προεπισκόπηση από Yahoo | | | |   |

    Στις 8:28 π.μ. Δευτέρα, 6 Ιουλίου 2015, ο/η Yanis Varoufakis έγραψε:

    #yiv8329026257 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv8329026257 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv8329026257 a.yiv8329026257primaryactionlink:link, #yiv8329026257 a.yiv8329026257primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv8329026257 a.yiv8329026257primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv8329026257 a.yiv8329026257primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv8329026257 | yanisv posted: “The referendum of 5th July will stay in history as a unique moment when a small European nation rose up against debt-bondage.Like all struggles for democratic rights, so too this historic rejection of the Eurogroup’s 25th June ultimatum comes with a l” | |

  • “Us and IMF call for Greek debt relief, warn of global economic damage if ‘Grexit”…
    (eidt)…“Greece is in a situation of acute crisis, which needs to be addressed seriously and promptly,” the International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said in Washington Wednesday. Reforms by Athens and “debt restructuring” would help it to get out of the crisis, she added. ” (edit)

    US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew also called the sides to compromise, warning of hundreds of billions of dollars in economic damage around the world otherwise. ….(edit)…He argued debt relief was necessary for Greece’s deal with creditors, describing ‘Grexit’ as a “geopolitical mistake”.”

  • Yanis, after reading the government’s submission to the parliament of the 20 page Bill for Negotiating a loan agreement with ESM , I am really curious about the reasons behind your resignation as minister. And I am also curious if you ‘d really vote for it on Sunday (not the authorization tomorrow).

  • Every nation has its share of not so bright folk. In Greece such share is manifested by the Yes vote camp. This is so because the entire taxation and financial burden of the forthcoming hefty new agreement would fall squarely into their shoulders. It is quite obvious – even for the casual observer – that the Syriza folk (lower economic class) has nothing more to give. It’s even more obvious that the Yes vote camp (wealthier class) would pay dearly 100% of all costs entailed in realizing their foolish wish. I hope this brief explanation also demonstrates how eurozone membership makes average people stupider than they already are. Enjoy the fruits of you labor Yes people because you are paying for the whole new misery fest you just invited upon yourselves :).

    The great news of course is that Schauble not only lost considerable morale ground(aka great defeat) in this latest episode but he is about to steamroll all the collaborators who worked with him over the years (thus becoming the true enemies of Greece).

    Thank you Schauble, you are a true genius. Your Greek sympathizers will remember you for years and so will we of course since you decided to get down to your knees and do all the required cleaning work yourself thus relieving us from this unpleasant task.

    • Every nation has its share of not so bright folk. In Greece such share is manifested by the Yes vote camp.

      Well, it turns out that the “bright folk” may after all be the ones who voted YES — if the new proposal submitted by the Greek government is indeed worse than the one rejected in last week’s referendum.

      It is quite obvious – even for the casual observer – that the Syriza folk (lower economic class) has nothing more to give.

      Other than “pie in the sky,” SYRIZA really did’t offer much else. They should been straight from the start — the Troika simply refuses to budge from their crippling austerity measures, except for the occasional crumbs.

      The great news of course is that Schauble not only lost considerable morale ground(aka great defeat)

      “Schauble, Schauble, Schauble” — you forget that they are 17 other eurozone coutnries, and most, if not all, not friendly to Greece’s position.

      Thank you Schauble, you are a true genius.

      Stop it. You’re making Schauble blush.

  • The birthplace of democracy has just made a mockery of democracy.

    This shameful new proposal submitted by Greece is worse, apparently, than the one Greek voters were asked to vote on last week.

    Costas Lapavitsas basically said a few months ago in an interview to a German magazine that the Greek negotiating team went into the negotiations severely underestimating the other side and thus blindly stepped over the “traps” the other side had set. That is gross negligence on the part of the Greek side.

    • Lapavitsas also belongs on the not so bright Greek folk.

      The entire genius of the new program is that is 99% paid for by bleeding ND + Pasok voters. In other words, it severely punishes the German collaborators.

      Couldn’t have designed it better myself.

      From these point on all the traitors to Greece will know for sure that there is a high and personal price to pay for choosing the wrong side. The cleaning of the stables of Augeas has begun.

  • Just read this article by S. Kouvelakis, a leader of the Left Wing of Syriza:

    I’m really hallucinating about the latest proposal by Tsipras, which is in essence the same austerian junk that was rejected last Sunday (except for the 30% reduction of the debt, not much, and 35 billion for investment). I’m also flippant that they stick to reject the demands of military expenditure reduction (a minor point if you wish but why?)

    But what I really wonder is if this proposal, assumed it’s signed, will amount to the division of Syriza in two and the “PASOK-ization” of the Tsipras faction.

    • Dean: if we follow what Kouvelakis says, with this draft agreement Syriza breaks apart and the Tsipras faction becomes, in Greek terms, a “PASOK” reliant on the support by ND (and PASOK and To Potami), and, in more international terms, the pathetic Prachandra faction of the Nepalese Communist Party. In fact we can well talk of a “Nepalization” of Greece. If we are to believe Kouvelakis, Tsipras and his loyals are pretty much alone inside Syriza now with this proposal. Even Yanis is rumored to oppose the deal (although he clearly prefers to remain silent right now).

      Taxation may affect the poor as much or more than the rich: VAT is a tax against the poor, particularly VAT on basic items like food, medicines, electricity, educative materials, clothing and most transport. Pension cutting is another aggression against the working class. What’s the burden place on the bourgeois class instead? 2% of corporate tax increase! It’s just another memorandum, and written not by the Greeks but by French ad hoc advisors.

      Additionally the debt reduction is clearly not enough. 70% of too much is still too much.

      I know it’s complicated but I think that Greece should play harder and take over the banks (to begin with). If Syriza breaks up, IMO there should be elections in September in order to guarantee that the Parliament actually represents the will of the people.

    • Is not that difficult to figure out.

      Tsipras has put ND + PASOK + Potami in the impossible situation that they have to vote Yes for this proposal mostly affecting their voters and from which there is no retreat because just a few days ago these fellows voted yes to a very similar proposal framing it in a manner which is impossible to escape from.

    • Maju:

      Things don’t appear to be as dramatic. So far there are 7 defections from Syriza and there could be more but the gap will be more than covered from the ND vote which is trapped.

      I don’t thing the VAT is a serious tax that affects everyday life. Yes it is a tax but nothing dramatic.

      The serious taxes would be on real estate(ENFIA) and corporate and personal tax rates. And those taxes will hit disproportionately ND+Pasok+Potami voters.

      The fact that some hard core Syriza supporters are displeased is expected and it’s part of the necessary theater to show Brussels that sacrifices are made. In summation this proposal is a compromise which disproportionately affects the upper class and not common folk.

    • Seven defections already?! The day has not even finished! The Left Wing of Syriza holds like 1/3 of the MPs, some of the group of 53 may also desert, the best known independents like Lapavitsas or Varoufakis may as well. But what is most important is not what happens at Parliament level, what stroke me the most was the opposition that Kouvelakis reveals inside the middle and low ranks of the party, beyond currents. A divide that may well extend to Greek society in general, as it’s self-evident that the people who voted “oxi” last sunday did not want this very agreement.

      I don’t care what ND votes. ND had less than 20% of the voting intention on June 15th: they have become irrelevant. Only Syriza matters or almost, because in those same opinion polls they had grown to represent almost 50% of the nation (and that explains well the “no” vote of Sunday, which was an even larger figure).

    • Is it just me or does anyone else think that Dean is coming across like that former Iraqi Information Minister, dubbed “Comical Ali” by the Brits, during the 2003 invasion of Iraq? Same wild claims, same colourful language 🙂

    • Maju:

      The purpose of the referendum was to give more negotiating leverage to the government. Armed with such plus the approval of the proposal today the government made its move. If Schauble is stupid enough to reject this deal then we will say NO for sure.

    • The purpose of any referendum is that the people decides on what they are being asked on the ballot. In this case they said clearly “no” to the very same measures approved today. There’s a serious taint of illegitimacy in the whole process and I personally pass today from (critical) cheerleader of Syriza to outright frustration: everything is pointless, politics suck, humankind is a hopeless bunch of not sufficiently evolved apes, etc.

    • I am not sure I understand what Yanis is doing. If he is saying that Schauble has a plan to throw Greece out (when in fact we know it’s not effing Schauble’s decision nor are there mechanisms to do so) all Yanis is doing is to scare people into the Yes vote camp.

      The obvious question here is who does a midget like Schauble does he think he is? He is just a standard psychopathic vermin. Who cares what his plan is? Exactly what authority a rat has and from whom really?

    • Who does Schäuble think he is? The Finance Minister of the regional European hegemon: a country or state with 80 million inhabitants, ranking 4th or 5th in GDP at planetary level (1st in Europe) and effective veto (and even majority vote) power in all EU decisions. More importantly maybe he represents the interests of many many powerful oligarchs, owners of banks, media and other major corporations. He is among his peers “primus inter pares”.

      He’s also an old grumpy man and someone who instead of behaving as leader, behaves as an imperialist dictator, what will no doubt destroy the EU in a matter of years. Because Germany does not have neither the tanks nor the nukes to impose its will (finances alone can’t replace the real thing).

  • Parliament vote results:

    yes –> 251 (most Syriza, ND, PASOK, To Potami, some ANEL)
    no –> 32 (KKE, Golden Dawn, some Syriza, some ANEL)
    abstentions –> 8 (all Syriza I believe, including resigning Minister of Energy)
    not present –> 9 (including Yanis, who nevertheless said to support the agreement according to some Indian newspaper)

    Some Twitter asked: who let Golden Dawn become representatives of the NO vote of last Sunday? (They were monkeying with placards reading “OXI” at the session).

  • I just read elsewhere the following anonymous but very informative commentary:

    On the vote in the Greek Parliament and the position of the Left Platform

    The large majority obtained in the vote (251 yes out of 300 MPs) should not conceal the major fact: the government has already lost its own parliamentary majority:only 145 out of the 162 MPs of the Syriza and Anel coalition voted yes, that is six less than the 151 threshold. Seventeen Syriza MPs either abstained, or voted no, with all the Anel MPs voting yes.
    Yanis Varoufakis was absent, Zoe Kostantopoulou abstained, as did Rachel Makri who’s close to her.
    Seven MPs of the Left Platform (LP) abstained, including its two most prominent ministers (Panagiotis Lafazanis and Dimitris Stratoulis) – Lafazanis issued a statement (see my next post). Among them Marxist economist Costas Lapavitsas and Stathis Leoutsakos, member of the political secretariat of Syriza. The four ministers will resign in the next few days. Fifteen other MPs of the LP, including the two other ministers N Choundis and C Isychos and the vice-president of the parliament, issued a statement explaining they will vote yes in order not to deprive the government of its majority at that stage, reject the proposed agreement as yet another austerity package and warn that they will not vote any signed agreement that includes austerity when it comes to parliament.
    Two MPs of the LP, Ioanna Gaitani and Elena Psarea, members of the Red Network (which regroups around DEA the trotskyist component of the LP) voted “No”.
    Four MPs of the KOE (Communist Organization of Greece, maoist) were absent and sent a statement strongly rejecting the agreement.

    Panagiotis Lafazanis, minister of energy, environment and productive reconcstruction, leader of Syriza’s Left Platform
    Why I don’t vote the proposed agreement

    By voting “present” I expressed my radical and categorical opposition to a “proposal” that risks extending the tutelage of my homeland.
    I support the government but I do not support a programme of austerity, deregulation and privatization which, if it is accepted by the “Institutions” and implemented, will only continue the vicious circle of recession, poverty and misery.
    This country will have a future if we, all together, break with neo-colonialism and if a sovereign and independant Greece enters a new path leading to a progressive reconstruction of its productive basis, of the economy and of society – without austerity measures, with sufficient liquidity and with a deep writing-off of the debt.”

    (The last part seems truncated, missing a sentence or several).

    What is apparent is that Schäuble is getting what he truly wants: to break Syriza apart.

    • What is apparent is that Schäuble is getting what he truly wants: to break Syriza apart.

      A neoliberal wet dream.

  • I feel sorry to you Yanis.
    I was asking in a comment on 10th of July that ” after reading the government’s submission to the parliament of the 20 page Bill for Negotiating a loan agreement with ESM , I was really curious about the reasons behind your resignation as minister. And I was also curious if you ‘d really vote for it on Sunday (not the authorization tomorrow)”.
    Well it turns out by Yanis himself (interview by Lambert on July 11th posted on 13th at that the reason he quit was the rejection of acting by issuing a parallel currency against lethal embracement of the banks by Brussels.He also states that he had warned the government a month before referendum on the possibility that Brussels would block the money flow to the banks and that PM should be aware and act.
    This is ok with Yanis but I think that Yanis should have warned people and parliament before the referendum on what happened in Brussels meetings and who really shut the banks. Not generally speaking. And that the true meaning of the referendum had been changed to in or out of such eurozone. PM had not the right to stop Yanis on this issue.
    Anyway this cannot be undone and since money will not flow normally or immediately a call on a final referendum on this or elections with the same question should be held.
    Because 61.3% is not anyone’s stake and is certainly NOT a part of the 83% of the MPs voted for an agreement. And AOZ exploitation should not be given to EU,

    • But Yanis has also said in that same article, just below that same sentence, that he is a team worker so he accepted the vote reluctantly. He was an MP but also a key minister in Tsipras government. He could not speak 100% freely before he resigned but rather as co-speaker of the team, the Government. A team is worth nothing without internal coordination and solidarity.

      All this actually affects the whole dynamics of Syriza, which Stathis Kouvelakis (Left Platform), explained last year, is de facto way too personalist around the figure and petit committee around Tsipras. Yanis is not even member of the party, let alone the Prime Minister and until now unquestioned leader of Syriza, so I think it is a bit unfair to put all the burden on him.

      I really can’t know how would I have done in Yanis’ shoes but in general terms his stand seems very coherent and correct to me. But I do know I would not have done what Tsipras just did: you don’t win a war, a class war and an independence war by surrendering. If you call a referendum, the people say “no” and your last attempt at negotiations produces nothing, you must act unilaterally and dare to ditch Germany and the banksters.

      “… who really shut the banks”.

      Who did? I still think the blame is on the ECB’s roof, as well as the blame for the Greek debt is on Draghi’s shoulder. The Government could have chosen the Varoufakis proposal and kept the banks open (maybe not the first days) by means of issuing a parallel currency (IOUs). But how would that have been substantially different? The emergency situation would have been roughly the same. What would people say about having their pensions paid in IOUs? It’s possible but very complicated.

      Only a few voices, not even Yanis himself, not yet, have adventured the only possible plan in such a dire straits situation (caused in any case by the institutions and very particularly Germany and the ECB), which is to declare the state of national emergency and intervene the banks, including the Bank of Greece, resorting to its reserves. This would be a direct challenge to the Eurozone system but the way the Eurogroup and the ECB behave is as well, so blame game, and let’s sue Draghi at the European Court of Justice.

      And even such defiant plan would only gain Greece a few months. But war is war.

      If nothing else the Tsipras government, and very particularly Yanis, have done a great work in pedagogically removing the veil of illusion about what is this European Union, of which we are say to be “citizens” but are actually expendable slaves.

    • I read with great interest the automatic translation of that article, George. With the limitations of possible misunderstandings because of the garbled grammar that auto-translation produces, I believe I can agree with the general outline of Ifestos’ article.

      However, do you think that the Greek People was ready before these last weeks to actually dare to risk ditching the euro and possibly all the EU (including Schengen-derived freedom of movement across borders)? My impression is that the answer is negative, else they would have voted not so much to Syriza but to KKE or Antarsya. Syriza won because it was offering everything that Greeks wanted, probably without much realism, much like a poor father who wants to keep their children’s belief in Santa Claus alive… but can’t afford to pay for their wishes. The Syriza majority is the product, I understand, of the overall level of consciousness of the Greek People as of the first half of 2015, which is the level of consciousness of a rapidly maturing kid who is split between his/her awareness that something is fishy and his/her fantasies of Santa Claus and getting all the toys.

      No criticism implied because elsewhere in Europe the consciousness level is not any better, often much worse. Only in the Basque Country, and now also Ireland, Scotland and broader Spain, there is some significant tendency of growing consciousness and therefore political challenge, but even in these cases it does not reach the Greek level, not yet. In the broader West Eurasian region we must also make particular mention to Kurdistan, where consciousness and political challenge is also very high. Elsewhere is like a desert, with the real left performing way too weakly, if it exists at all, and way too often with the far right extremists capitalizing discontent in what looks like a most dangerous tendency.

      But I do agree that the Syriza government should have focused more in the internal aspect, moving ahead independently of negotiations with their own nationally-defined strategy (there’s no hope in broader Europe until it grows more mature). I also think that, maybe barring the first trench of payments, Greece should have defaulted (and taken emergency measures) months ago – but unsure how this would have played internally in terms of popular support for the government and national cohesion.

      My emphasis on “pedagogy” is because I think that the main problem is one of consciousness, awareness. You can’t face reality while you still believe in Santa (i.e. the EU as idealistic fantasy of brotherhood among peoples and a democracy that is not too real). Ifaistos may be right but how many understand, even if poorly, what he does? Until a growing majority of the peoples (the Greek People but also in general) becomes painfully aware of the power reality, there’s no democratic way out. And there is no other way out: it must be democratic because only the People can challenge and maybe defeat the oligarchs (fascist “nationalist” demagogy is just another illusion, a most dangerous one, as Ukraine teaches us).