Athens, July 14, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
Commenting on everything that took place in the summit in Brussels, Varoufakis says, “this is the policy of humiliation. The troika had made sure they would make him (pp Alexis Tsipras) to regret every word he uttered criticizing the troika during the last five years. Not only in the six months we are in power, but in previous years as well”.
He continues by saying that “this has nothing to do with the economy. It is a new Treaty of Versailles that haunts Europe once again, and the Prime Minister knows it. He knows that he is doomed if it does it and doomed if it does not”.
For Varoufakis, the Treaty must be rejected, as he compares it with the coup of 1967. Only, as he says, “in the coup tanks were they used to throw the democracy. This time it was the banks. Foreign forces used banks to seize power”.
Regarding his relationship with Tsipras and his view of the prime minister, Varoufakis argues that he should proceed to elections, rather than bring the agreement in parliament. “It will be a surprise if he remain prime minister after this crime against Europe”, he says.
As for their relations, he insists they are good, while also comments his adventurous resignation, saying that “I was flying at a beautiful cloud filled with excitement. The moment I entered the prime minister’s office, I immediately felt a sense of resignation, a negatively charged atmosphere. I was confronted with an air of defeat, which was in stark contrast to what was happening outside”.
Former Finance Minister also describes the secret preparations of the Greek government to print drachmas if the country was forced to abandon the euro. “As a responsible government we knew that there was a strong alliance in Europe aiming to throw us out. We had to have a small secret group of people and a plan, in case we were ready to leave the eurozone”, he said to the Australian radio.
As for what he will do now, he said he will remain an ordinary member of the party having more room to maneuver and to tell the truth. But he fears that austerity will highlight the extreme right in Greece. “If our party, SYRIZA, which has fostered so much hope in Greece bend our head in this new form of postmodern occupation, then I cannot see any other outcome than further strengthening of the Golden Dawn. They will inherit tragically the mantle of the movement against austerity”.
The interview on Australian radio comes in continuation of another interview the former finance minister had given earlier in foreign media. In it he had stated that his recommendation to the Greek government was to issue a parallel currency and trim the bonds of the ECB. He claims that he brought it before the government but did not find support. While a basic part of the interview is his admittance that from day one he was thinking of a Grexit.
On a journalist question about Grexit he was very specific reply: “Yes, absolutely. I was thinking of a Grexit from the first day”.
According to Varoufakis, from the beginning of the negotiations, the creditors in short made it clear that he will either accept the agreement or the agreement is dead, while noting that while the Greek side presented the figures they requested (eg the fiscal situation in Greece, the figures for state entities) and had been developing its plans for VAT, the creditors rejected the proposals without giving an alternative of their own. “Then, before we could agree with them on VAT, they would change issue and speak of privatizations”.
As he said, he had proposed to the Troika to agree on three to four major reforms that everyone would agree, for example, the tax system and VAT, and apply them directly. In return there would be easing of restrictions by the ECB. These reforms would go to parliament and the negotiations would continue. However, the response of institutions was negative, as they wanted a “overall evaluation”. “Nothing will be applied if you dare to introduce laws. It will be considered unilateral action that will oppose the process of reaching an agreement”.
Asked about the two options that Greece has, that is a direct exit from the euro or to issue IOUs, Varoufakis said “I never thought we should go straight to the new currency. My view was that if they dared close our banks, which I considered a aggressive move of incredible power, we should respond dynamically without passing the point of no return.
We need to issue our own IOUs, or at least to announce that we will issue our liquidity in euro. We should “clip” the Greek bonds of 2012 held by the ECB or announce that we will. And we have to take control of the Bank of Greece. This was the triptych, the three things that I thought we had to answer with if the ECB closed our banks.
I warned the cabinet that this would happen (the ECB would close our banks) for a month in order to draw us into a humiliating agreement. When it happened, my recommendation for a “proactive” answer, was let’s say voted down.