Treason charges: What lurks behind the bizarre allegations

The bizarre attempt to have me indicted me on… treason charges, allegedly for conspiring to push Greece out of the Eurozone, reflects something much broader.

It reflects a determined effort to de-legitimise our five-month long (25th January to 5th July 2015) negotiation with a troika incensed that we had the audacity to dispute the wisdom and efficacy of its failed program for Greece.

The aim of my self-styled persecutors is to characterise our defiant negotiating stance as an aberration, an error or, even better from the perspective of Greece’s troika-friendly oligarchic establishment, as a ‘crime’ against Greece’s national interest.

My dastardly ‘crime’ was that, expressing the collective will of our government, I personified the sins of:

  • Facing down the Eurogroup’s leaders as an equal that has the right to say ‘NO’ and to present powerful analytical reasons for rebuffing the catastrophic illogicality of huge loans to an insolvent state in condirion of self-defeating austerity
  • Demonstrating that one can be a committed Europeanist, strive to keep one’s nation in the Eurozone, and, at the very same time, reject Eurogroup policies which damage Europe, deconstruct the euro and, crucially, trap one’s country in austerity-driven debt-bondage
  • Planning for contingencies that leading Eurogroup colleagues, and high ranking troika officials, were threatening me with in face-to-face discussions
  • Unveiling how previous Greek governments turned crucial government departments, such as the General Secretariat of Public Revenues and the Hellenic Statistical Office, into departments effectively controlled by the troika and reliably pressed into the service of undermining the elected government.

It is amply clear that the Greek government has a duty to recover national and democratic sovereignty over all departments of state, and in particular those of the Finance Ministry. If it does not, it will continue to forfeit the instruments of policy making that voters expect it to utilise in pursuit of the mandate they bestowed upon it.

In my ministerial endeavours, my team and I devised innovative methods for developing the Finance Ministry’s tools to deal efficiently with the troika-induced liquidity crunch while recouping executive powers previously usurped by the troika with the consent of previous governments.

Instead of indicting, and persecuting, those who, to this day, function within the public sector as the troika’s minions and lieutenants (while receiving their substantial salaries from the long-suffering Greek taxpayers), politicians and parties whom the electorate condemned for their efforts to turn Greece into a protectorate are now persecuting me, aided and abetted by the oligarchs’ media. I wear their accusations as badges of honour.

The proud and honest negotiation that the SYRIZA government conducted from the first day we were elected has already changed Europe’s public debates for the better. The debate about the democratic deficit afflicting the Eurozone is now unstoppable. Alas, the troika’s domestic cheerleaders do not seem able to bear this historic success. Their efforts to criminalise it will crash on the same shoals that wrecked their blatant propaganda campaign against the ‘No’ vote in the 5th July referendum: the great majority of the fearless Greek people.


  • The allegations are rubbish. This is the reaction of the Yes in the referendum crowd which gets all of its marching order from Ayatollah Schauble and his psychopathic Berlin Talibans.

    • This morning the Greek budget office heavily criticized the Syriza gov’t for the state of the budget. Obviously, the current gov’t is not in full control of at least one office and/or ministry. And this reinforces Varoufakis’s post.

    • Better not to just ridicule those that voted ‘yes’. I’m sure there were many that agonized over this vote. And clearly Tsipras was not able to give a follow up to the ‘No’.

    • Dimitri:

      The Greek budget Office advising the Parliament is a perenial negative factor in everything they publish. They only see dark clouds and avoid anything positive. They are de facto clowns and mickey mouse economists. They know nothing except to amplify darkness and worst case scenarios.

    • Not ridicule those who voted Yes?

      But they are nothing more than the failure in Greek politics: ND+Pasok+Potami.

      These are all “has been”s. There is no future for them in Greek politics going forward.

      What are we suppose to do? Congratulate them for total failure and collaboration with the enemy?

  • You should have seen this coming and been more sensitive on civil liberties and freedom of speech in Greece, when the Samaras government was arresting MP’s and jailing them without trial – effectively suspending any ‘habeas corpus’ in Greece. Treason for a parallel national currency! As you say correctly, your crime was to try to open a serious public policy debate in the Eurozone. In this Orwellian world, if you do not swear allegiance to Brussels and Eurozone dogma – no matter what nonsense – you are a traitor.

    What about all those in Greece who supported EU Creditor demands against the Greek people? What about a government that ignored the will of the Greek people in a referendum and capitulated to EU Creditors? What about a Parliament that rubber stamps laws imposed on Greece by foreign entities against the Greek people with repressive measures such as hefty VAT increases on basic foods and right of banks to foreclose on primary homes. Shame on this government! Shame on most of the MP’s in this current Parliament. They have collectively betrayed the Greek people and turned against them in the most vicious and repressive ways.

  • No-one in the world has yet managed to grow an effective grand theory that can stand against the neo-liberal paradigm. I suspect there are dormant seeds in many places, even unseen seedlings sprouting in unexpected soils; sturdy perennials which are yet indistinguishable at this stage of their growth from transitory annuals. Only some later history will claim, with the inestimable benefit of hindsight, their contribution to an idea stronger than those that now rule us; a new set of ideas and practices as robust and truthful as those ideas and practices that have taken so strong a possession of our common sense. No great idea (the heliocentric theory of the solar system, the evil of the death penalty, the wrongness of slavery, the rights of women, the theory of evolution, the equality of races) came to flourishing growth in the lifetime of those who first intimated its innate truth and rightness. Stand against neo-liberalism? Commit yourself to loneliness, doubt, ridicule, humiliation, and despair – yet still be brave, happy, good humoured and sweet company. In that respect I give high marks to Yanis Varoufakis. The charges against him amplifies the dangerous credibility of his ideas, serving as additional stigma to his accusers. It is all too apparent that Varoufakis has been corrupting the minds of the young, believing in supernatural phenomena of his own invention rather than in the gods of the Euro-state.

    • Truth be told there is a great deal of Left’s impotence in Greece’s current circumstances. The European Left should be ashamed of itself for being spectators to the neo-liberal slaughter and having to offer nothing but soulful sympathy and empty words of pseudo-support. Greece is in the current mess because the European Left is nowhere to be found and unable to even offer the basic support (Podemos is a joke and Holland a German clown, Renzi a superfluous incompetent with the typical Italian lack of depth). In practical terms the worst and least prepared fighters to have on your side when you need them the most. The Left is the true Traitor who has completely left (no pun intended) Greece down.

  • Yani, while we disagree on a lot of things we agree on this one. Criticism of your record is a political, not a legal issue. The criminal allegations are opportunistic and they do not come just from those who habitually disagree with you. A lot of your Syriza colleagues find it convenient to use you as a scapegoat.

    I said yesterday ( ) that Greece has nothing to gain by Special Courts. We do not want to relive the experience of 1989 which brought no catharsis, nor resolution to any problems.

    I hope we can continue to disagree on political, and not on legal venues.

  • Yanis I think you said or someone said the implosion of the economy would lead to political implosion. Well this is surely is a sign. Treason trials scream desperation but troika control of the finance ministry is serious and very troubling and will only get worse.
    You came away from this trusting the Greek people, the people of Europe and all people of good will who have been filled with hope and not the “important” people. Not bad for an “erratic” Marxist!

    • Thanks! Very interesting interview. Susan is right in many things but she’s quite strict on SYRIZA. It hard for anyone outside Greece to understand current conditions. SYRIZA had very limited options and fights against an extremely powerful system inside and outside Greece, but this may change quite soon in Europe.

    • She exhibits unmistakable German bias because as you could tell from her last name she has German roots.

      There is no place for your racist nonsense here, Plassasas. Take it elsewhere!

    • Susan Webber is an American accountant with zero understanding of Europe/EU and no appreciation of the frightening issues at play here. She also has an unforgiving animus toward Yanis Varoufakis – who apparently let her down some time in the past – and has demonised him throughout her ‘analysis’ as a totally unreliable (and worse) character, person and Finmin.
      As an accountant she has approached the Greek crisis as 100% economic (not political), while treating the EU/ECB treaty rules as laws carved in stone, ditto IMF. She has based her information on MSM sources, and her “expert” is Nathan Tankus (who he?!). At the same time she links to Lapavitsas, to berate Syriza and YV as insufficiently Left.

      European & Greek comment threaders who have tried to reframe issues or present information she lacks, or dare to disagree, have in time all been “moderated” off the site.

      The result has been 6 months of very weird “analysis”. And totally unedifying, unilluminating, from a European point of view.

  • Show trials have a long history in Europe – if I were Yanis I would get out of town before the stormtroopers appear.