Open Letter to the editor of The Times: Your Athens correspondent has done it again!

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Dear Sir,

A day after one of your able journalists interviewed me in London, with a view of composing a piece for your newspaper (which I suppose is forthcoming), my attention was drawn to a separate piece that I am sure slipped inadvertently into your newspaper through your various filters. Its defamatory and wholly made-up title tells the whole story: “Varoufakis ‘funnels thousands to offshore bank account’“.

This is not the first time your excellent newspaper has been led down the garden path by the same Athens correspondent. Back in October, Anthee Carassava reported that I was charging $60,000 per speech and that I was demanding payment through some Oman-based account. Nothing could be further from the truth. For the purposes of making that clear, and in the interests of full transparency, I did something that no politician has ever done: I published on my website the list of every talk I had given and the precise fee that I had received, demonstrating that the vast majority of my talks are free (indeed that, for some of them, I cover my own transport costs).

Today, the same TIMES correspondent, exhibiting an astonishing lack of journalistic ethics, attempted to exploit the furore over the Panama papers to submit to you exactly the same defamatory piece, without even mentioning that it was a re-print of her October tall tale, complete with the same fictitious figure and the same fictitious Oman-based account.

As I am sure that you are not aware of the above, I am addressing this open letter to you to protect you from defamatory pieces submitting by this particular Athens correspondent.

Finally, so that there is no smidgeon of doubt, let met state it for the record that:

  • I have never had an offshore bank account or used one such account, in Oman or anywhere else on the planet
  • No one (investigative reporter or authority) has ever claimed that I have had or used such an account
  • I have never used any method for reducing the tax I pay to the Greek authorities

Convinced that, after having read the above, I trust that you will take the necessary steps to reign in unscrupulous reporting from your Athens correspondent.

Regards

Yanis Varoufakis