Varoufakis under fire for secret “plan B”

Varoufakis under fire for secret “plan B”

Athens, July 29, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Zacharias Petrou

Two lawsuits against former minister Yanis Varoufakis were handed over to the Greek Parliament by the Prosecutor of the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The suits issued by a mayor and a lawyer request the referral of Varoufakis to a Special Court regarding his handling of the negotiations with Greece’s creditors over the last six months and his secret plan B for Greece.

The leaked Plan B would have eased Greece’s chronic liquidity shortage, the former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis wrote in the Financial Times.

Varoufakis explains in an article published Tuesday: “As I was handing over the reins of the finance ministry to my friend Euclid Tsakalotos on July 6, I presented a full account of the ministry’s projects, priorities and achievements during my five months in office. The new payments system outlined here was part of that presentation. No member of the press took any notice”.

The former Finance Minister was quoted as saying a small group was working on the plan that entailed copying tax ID numbers and duplicating their passwords in order to issue new PIN numbers for every taxpayer to be used in transactions with the state.

The person responsible for the information systems in the Greek ministry of Finance denied any “intervention in the information systems of the Treasury”.

Michalis Chatzitheodorou, who was described by Varoufakis as his “childhood friend”, said in a statement said that all revelations regarding the hacking of the ministry systems are “absolutely untrue”.

Chatzitheodorou was not named by Varoufakis during his infamous teleconference with the London-based Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum , but his identity became known soon afterwards by the Greek media.

“There was nothing remotely questionable about what we were doing, except we were aware that it could it be misconstrued,” said American economist James Galbraith, who coordinated the group for Varoufakis, in a telephone interview with Politico.

The former Finance Minister has come under fire by opposition parties but also by ruling Syriza party members.

Goverment spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili said the government made contingency plans but only to safeguard the interests of the country and never to intentionally leave the eurozone.

First Deputy Parliament Speaker Alexis Mitropoulos has blamed former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis for the fresh austerity imposed on Greece.

“With his lack of modesty, his naivety, his zeal to showcase his own ideas it seems that he has hurt the Greek issue,” Mitropoulos said and added: “German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and the creditors were likely aware of his intentions and as a result we should now accept these harsh measures and the new bailout.”

Main opposition New Democracy along with centrist The River Party (“To Potami”) and socialist PASOK all slammed the “plan B” Varoufakis was allegedly secretly plotting. In fact, opposition parties said a public prosecutor should surely intervene now to shed light on the matter.

Calls are also growing for Varoufakis to be tried for high treason.

Brussels also hit back at “false” claims from the former Greek finance minister that creditors were in full control of Greece’s secretary general of public revenues, forcing the finance minister to try and find a way to “hack” into its computer system.

Spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said the claims are “false and unfounded”. “The Commission and IMF only provide technical assistance, they certainly do not control” the body, she added.