Dr Schäuble’s Plan for Europe: Do Europeans approve? – Article to appear in Die Zeit on Thursday 16th July 2015

Pre-publication summary: Five months of intense negotiations between Greece and the Eurogroup never had a chance of success. Condemned to lead to impasse, their purpose was to pave the ground for what Dr Schäuble had decided was ‘optimal’ well before our government was even elected: That Greece should be eased out of the Eurozone in order to discipline member-states resisting his very specific plan for re-structuring the Eurozone.

  • This is no theory.
  • How do I know Grexit is an important part of Dr Schäuble’s plan for Europe?
  • Because he told me so!

I wrote this article not as a Greek politician critical of the German press’ denigration of our sensible proposals, of Berlin’s refusal seriously to consider our moderate debt re-profiling plan, of the European Central Bank’s highly political decision to asphyxiate our government, of the Eurogroup’s decision to give the ECB the green light to shut down our banks.

I wrote this article as a European observing the unfolding of a particular Plan for Europe – Dr Schäuble’s Plan.

And I am asking a simple question of Die Zeit’s informed readers:

  • Is this a Plan that you approve of?
  • Do you consider this Plan good for Europe?


  • Thanks for posting this Yani, but you miss out an important detail. It was your shambolic time in office that allowed these supposed evil plans to come to fruition. I despair at the lack of self-reflection I really do (here is why http://wp.me/p5zzQG-as )

  • Reblogged this on 21st Century Theater and commented:
    This is part of a worldwide neoliberal project. Any citizen of any country who thinks they are immune is ignorant or in deep denial. We are all Greece. The sooner we realize it the sooner we can organize worldwide to challenge our corporate masters and the venal bureaucrats they purchase with their Ill-gotten gains.

  • It’s very hard not to feel empathy for you Yanis as well as gratitude for all your valiant efforts. Your mistake was to use civility and reason when in fact Schauble is composed of a dark and barbarous nature rendering him immune to any and all characteristics of higher self. He is a debased product of opportunism and circumstance.

  • “your shambolic time in office” – it is sad bordering on ridiculous to see people try and pin these events on one party, even more so on one man.

    Greece, pre-crisis, Greece was the plaything of the big banks. It’s elite was corrupted to the core and its politics became a mere appendage to these big banks from all over the world. To paraphrase Churchill, never have so few benefited from the indebtedness of so many. Especially rank were the amounts paid to German and US military suppliers for the ridiculous expansion of the Greek military. But the Greek people did not benefit, certainly not those voting for Syriza then nor those voting with them now.

    Post-crisis, the prostrate Greece has to now been the plaything of the anti-democratic EU technocrats and the caretaker neoliberal governments who, until the election of Syriza, had offered to oversee the debasement of the Greek economy and Greek society for the EU who cared only about one thing: their money and their banks.

    The fact is that Greece has, until now, lost all of its sovereignty, it has, until now, lost all of its freedom of political movement. Syriza is the first party who is trying to remedy this. All other parties, save their coalition partners, are parties who have completely squandered the trust of the Greek people through their total willingness to sell out the Greek people to austerity. There is no other party that represents the wishes of the Greek people, proven most recently through the massive nearly 2-1 mandate given in the referendum.

    So to those who want to find a scapegoat in a party in power for only a few months, dealing with a crisis at least a decade in the making, I say this: have some personal dignity, honesty, and just a bit of intestinal fortitude (if you can muster it). Stop trying to blame those trying to fix the problem. Blame those who caused it – those who sold Greece out to the banks, and those who for years sold Greece out to austerity. And blame those who stand now making even more threats against Greece, even to the point of a complete takeover of her government and further loss of sovereignty to those who don’t care one minute for Greece or the Greek people. Stand with the Greek people and those they have chosen to undo this Gordian Knot of debt, austerity, and crisis.

    • Thank you for this post, KenLaylsAlive. Sums it up very good, I’ll send your post together with Yanis’ ZEIT-article to friends if it comes out.
      Today german “Bundespräsident” Gauck spoke in his usually pastoral manner about how right Merkel and Schäuble were. We have many Schäubles in Europe…this all is beyond words, nearly.
      As much as I can still understand that people love to think just grim and nightmarish Herr Schäuble was the problem, (and indeed he is a horrible man), “those who for years sold Greece out to austerity” like you so rightly say would replace Schäuble in no time, if needed. But nothing would change…
      We all know it by now, it is no single person who wants, like Paul Krugman says, break Greece. Neoliberal Donald Tusk, shouting (if we can believe something from the reports) something like “the game is over” in Tsipras’ face, and Tsipras answering very thoughtfully “this is no game”. Neoliberal “social democrat” Martin Schulz, rattling on, sputtering about Yanis mental health and that he would not be a psychoanalyst (!) somewhere, while the very man received the “Karlspreis” recently, by the way, after Schäuble, Tusk, Merkel, Juncker were honoured with that prize during the last years….

      The mother of austerity and “market-conform democracy” (even if this would mean no democracy at all) Angela Merkel, ever so clever (without Merkel no Schäuble, that’s for sure. He is her fist.).
      Herr Dijsselbloem, with his “major issue of trust”, as if after 6 years the question of trust could be understood in a way Herr Dijsselbloem wants to have us believe… Mario Draghi with this widely accepted, ridiculous football-language “the ball lies firmly with Greece”, as if it would again be, like Tusk says, a game…All of this and much more adds to the horrors we see, the destruction of a democratic and in the end after the neoliberal beginnings a social Europe.

      No time for dreams, I know. But just if a miracle happened and Merkel would throw out Schäuble (it would indeed be a miracle, but Merkel is the born opportunist and would even do so if we all were lucky and christmas and easter time would be on one day. She would of course only do so if german politicians were at last thanks to a now unknown “Europe waking up” and giving Merkel/Schäuble/Germany’s green SPD CDU FDP a strong headwind) – this would, in our dream, mean that maybe France, Italy, Spain would have forced the Eurozone to change course. Maybe it was something like this Syriza hoped for after January 25.

      But during the last 6 years “those who for years sold Greece out to austerity” were nearly all! Germany’s neoliberal government is far too powerful inside the Eurozone, yet there are Poland, UK, many more, and additionally there are so many countries which stay silent… Yanis might write a book later to tell us how they managed it to make poor countries in eastern Europe, Portugal, Spain, Italy so very silent or openly affirming the austerity hardliners… France seems to be dependent on Germany…There is no fight against austerity hardliners…so Syriza and the greek people really had no chance.

      They indeed were not much of a help against the german hardliners. Like one journalist of “Nachdenkseiten”, a good german page, wrote, in my translation, “operation successful, Europe is dead”. On June 29 the journalist (Jens Berger, article only in german) called the EU-treatment blackmail. A country dares to oppose the neoliberal dogma and is blackmailed.

    • I never thought I would say this but this germanic Europe is turning into a totalitarian state where only fear rules supreme. Democracy, human decency, social justice – all just obstacles to be torn down to clear a path for the empirialist ambitions of a plutocrat elite and the spineless, merciless thugs who do their bidding and who we are still stupid enough to call our governments.
      Dissent can no longer be tolerated. It must be crushed, exterminated, wiped off the face of the earth. And we shall bow our heads in shame and in fear and not dare to speak up and point our fingers at those who disobey and call them liars and traitors and put them in chains.
      I guess this is how fascism begins.

  • After all this overbanked “waterboarding” torture on Greece, why would any decent Greek with a conscience want to be a part of this Europe. Grexit us our declaration of independence and Tsipras was so close to being my Jefferson. Syriza needs to focus on cutting that massive public sector bureaucracy that has asphyxiated the Greek talent for the last forty years and I think a unity party good provide the framework to a modernize government, especially education, so that they can attract entrepreneurs like me can do our magic and create good paying jobs. There is so much opportunity to do good solid business and get the money flowing again and at least if you do pay your taxes you will know that money will make its way to the treasury and nowhere else. So much inspirational talent inside and outside of Greece and it all starts with dealing with the habits that formed Greece’s Walking Dead

    • Grexit at Germany’s terms is a German benefit. If you are a true Greek or simply care about Greece then you want to bring Germany on its knees.

      Relax, no one can make Greece exit. This is typical of presenting a bad case so that you could settle for a much less optimum compromise.

  • Η Σατραπεία
    Τι συμφορά, ενώ είσαι καμωμένος
    για τα ωραία και μεγάλα έργα
    η άδικη αυτή σου η τύχη πάντα
    ενθάρρυνσι κ’ επιτυχία να σε αρνείται·
    να σ’ εμποδίζουν ευτελείς συνήθειες,
    και μικροπρέπειες, κι αδιαφορίες.
    Και τι φρικτή η μέρα που ενδίδεις
    (η μέρα που αφέθηκες κ’ ενδίδεις),…..

  • It has always been about false appearances and misleading impressions. Whereas Greece had won a long time ago(aka January 25 2015), now we have to pretend that a bunch of incompetent and amateurish Berliners “won” so that their deep inferiority sensitive ego is preserved for PR purposes. In other words, deception galore.

    Instead of Germany admitting the errors of its way, the hypocritical show must continue so that the vast majority of uninformed citizens everywhere learns from the propaganda press that some ridiculous nonsense posing as “reforms” was a splendid justification for the torture of the entire nation.

    I don’t want to be part of a Germanic Europe. And I will not rest until the Beast of Berlin burns in hell. End of story.

    • Whereas Greece had won a long time ago(aka January 25 2015, now we have to pretend that a bunch of incompetent and amateurish Berliners “won” ….


      Dean is writing and posting from the comfort of his home — in the United States. Thus, he is well ensconced from the daily “inconveniences” affecting Greeks these last few weeks.. (What is insulin?)

      As for “that bunch of incompetent and amateurish Berlineers,”

      “Greece Brought a Latte to a Gunfight”


  • “Die wichtigste Währung ist verschwunden: Vertrauen.” “Scheitert der Euro, Scheitert Europa.” Frau Merkel should heed her own prophecies. As a US citizen, I’ve long been convinced that our own ruling morons were the undisputed modern masters of the Pyrrhic victory, but it now seems that the Germans and their small-minded allies in the EU are not to be outdone. God, what a mess! The totally unnecessary misery inflicted on the Greek people makes me both sad and angry. Frankly, I expected (or more accurately, hoped for ) much wiser and more merciful behavior from the Europeans.

  • I hope we all easily agree that this new “deal” is DOA.

    You can’t vote for a deal like this after the recent Greek referendum. It would be a mockery of people’s will.

  • Greece in the Eurozone is sort of similar to China in the 19th Century with the Opium Dens and Boxer Rebellion…… The opium being replaced today by Ponzi pretend and extend loans. Varoufakis naively started a Boxer Rebellion that the EU has quickly quashed.

    Varoufakis broke all the rules of omerta between the Greek political class and their EU Masters and opened a Pandora’s Box. So major newspapers like Kathimerini are embarking upon a personal smear campaign in Orwellian propaganda to cover all this up ASAP. It only in UK newspapers or other media like Russia Today that anyone in Greece can understand what is going on in the EU. Varoufakis has to be exiled, say back to the US.

    I have been personally at odds with Yanis for years now, where I have argued consistently that he had no chances of changing the Eurozone policies and the only realistic solution for Greece was GREXIT. When Yanis finally arrived to this point by deductive logic, he was quickly dismissed aka Soviet.

    It would be suicidal for any self-respecting European country to permit more power and centralization in Brussels. Indeed the only salvation is less centralization and EU devolution for European countries to preserve their civil liberties and economic freedom. The danger signals with the bells ringing are sounding out on this.

    Surprising that Yanis seems not to have ever read Panayiotis Kondylis on Greece and national strategy.