Yanis Varoufakis and Greece’s crisis
Sir, – I’d dispute Paul Williams’s version (June 19th) of events in relation to “Marxist” former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, and his “catastrophic stint” in office.
It reminds me of the old adage that success has many fathers but failure is always an orphan because the actual Greek economic catastrophe had many architects, the least of them Mr Varoufakis, who only held his finance minister post for six short months.
Mr Varoufakis did, however, show that rare quality – particularly in politics – when he resigned his position on a matter of principle; the principle being a fundamental disagreement with the draconian measures being imposed by Europe and the International Monetary Fund and the inhumane effects these were having on Greek citizens.
The seeds of disaster were sown long before Mr Varoufakis entered the political arena. For one thing, had investment bank Goldman Sachs not helped Greece conceal its massive debts before it joined the euro zone back in 2001, the real state of the country would have come to light then, thereby providing an opportunity to take steps which might have avoided the crisis which occurred over a decade later. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Contrary to Paul Williams’s letter, Yanis Varoufakis’s tenure as Greek finance minister was not catastrophic – the troika-imposed austerity enforced in the face of a 62 per cent rejection by the Greek citizenry (all to pay private bankers) that forced his resignation, was. IMF officials privately admitted that Mr Varoufakis was absolutely correct in his economic analysis, but the EU had invested too much political capital in ramming through unpopular austerity to lose face by conceding to the Greek people.
As Mr Varoufakis said, “This was the moment the soul of European democracy was buried – in Athens, where it was born.” – Yours, etc,