14/03/2017 by

By AnnMarie Welser and Brian Maguire | EURACTIV.com

Greece’s economy suffered a new blow, contracting by 1.2% at the end of 2016, according to revised figures released earlier this week. The figures, published by the Greek statistics agency, Elstat, show it was the worst quarter since the summer of 2015, when the European Central Bank closed the Greek banks. The dramatic bank closures were viewed by many as part of the ‘Troika’ campaign to force Greece into a third bailout, complete with new austerity measures. But was closure process legal and within the ECB’s charter and mandate? ECB President Mario Draghi wasn’t sure; Draghi commissioned an independent legal opinion on this issue. Now, Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek Minister of Finance, and Fabio De Masi, a German, Die Linke MEP, have launched a public campaign demanding the immediate publication of Draghi’s legal opinion. EURACTIV’s Brian Maguire spoke with Varoufakis and De Masi about ECB transparency, the limitations of its mandate, and reform of the eurozone after the Treaty of Rome 60th anniversary celebrations this month.

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