You recommend

Yanis Varoufakis is the finance minister ‘of a bankrupt country’

Published on 4 February 2015 at 18:10

A reader, Continentàl, recommends an interview with Greece finance minister Yanis Varoufakis from German weekly Die Zeit.

After he was misquoted by some German media, in an interview with Die Zeit Greece’s new finance minister Yannis Varoufakis asks Germans to listen to Greeks, if not to trust them. He explains hostility towards the Syriza government as fear of the unknown. "Europe wasn’t prepared for the crisis in Greece and made decisions that just made everything worse. Now the EU resembles a gambling addict throwing good money after bad" he says. Greece is bankrupt.

The policies of the Troika caused enormous social suffering but didn't remove the structural flaws that led to unsustainable indebtedness. The new government wants to tackle cronyism, corruption and the fiscal irresponsibility of Greece's rich while giving relief to its poor and will never again run fiscal deficits. They may lack experience, but asked the OECD's José Ángel Gurría to help them put together a viable reform programme.

The Troika was thrown out because Greece needs to negotiate policies directly with its partners. Berlin wants the existing deals to be kept, but Germany itself signed a very bad deal, the Versailles Treaty, after WWI, which caused immense harm to Europe and should have been broken. Germany ought to be a real leader and shoulder responsibility for Europe like the U.S. did after WWII when it forgave a large share of Germany’s debt. Now Greece needs a bridging loan and ECB support for its banks while it prepares a plan that will be ready at the beginning of June.

Receive the best of European journalism straight to your inbox every Thursday

Read the English version of Varoufakis' interview here.


Was this article useful? If so we are delighted! It is freely available because we believe that the right to free and independent information is essential for democracy. But this right is not guaranteed forever, and independence comes at a cost. We need your support in order to continue publishing independent, multilingual news for all Europeans. Discover our membership offers and their exclusive benefits and become a member of our community now!

Are you a news organisation, a business, an association or a foundation? Check out our bespoke editorial and translation services.

Support independent European journalism

European democracy needs independent media. Join our community!