Yanis Varoufakis in conversation with Paul Mason

Yanis Varoufakis in conversation with Paul Mason

Yanis Varoufakis in conversation with Paul Mason

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Professor of Economics and former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis in conversation with Channel 4 News Economics Editor and author PostCapitalism Paul Mason.

Greeks did not vote Syriza because overnight they had become radicalised. They did so because the saw the economic conditions imposed on Greece were a disaster for Greece.

Joining the euro was not good for Greece.

Pretend and extend. Greece was bankrupt in 2010. Yet more money was lent to Greece. It was used to bail out the German banks. It came with strings attached. Conditions which have destroyed the Greek economy.

If a cow is sick and you want more milk, you do not beat the cow, that will kill the cow, you treat the cow.

Greece was subjected to fiscal water boarding. Greece had to be punished. It was to set an example to other countries, do not dare challenge the European Union, if you do, you will be punished.

Greece should have fought back. They could have defaulted on 27 billion euros. They did not. Instead they surrendered and betrayed the Greek people.

EU is a dictatorship, autocratic, unaccountable, undemocratic.

When finance minsters meet, there are no briefings, no one is allowed to brief, they are told what to do by the European Commission. Each finance minster has ten minutes to express their view based upon no data. Three hours is then spent on agreeing a press release. Finance ministers return home, each saying the same thing, they did their best, but were outvoted.

Can the EU be reformed? Democracy would be a fine thing. A start would be transparency, Minutes of meetings published on the internet.

Publish the full text of TTIP on-line, chapter by chapter.

Debt is matched by the accumulated wealth of the rich. The rich do not spend money, the poor do.

Quantitative Easing has been a failure. It transferred money to the rich. We need a People’s Quantitative Easing. We need to invest in green infrastructure.

Harold Wilson inspired with the white heat of technology. We need to inspire with the cool breeze of green technology.

We need to inspire youngsters, instead of the killer app to make a million, create an app that enables sharing, collaborative commons.

Implement Plan C. Create an alternative currency for Greece, a cryptocurrency modelled on FairCoin, that everyone can use with their smart phone or tablet. The problem is people have no money.

We need people to demand change, to take control, whatever their political colours, a grassroots revolt.

Follow the example of Frome, a Flatpack Democracy Revolution, people take control of their town halls, network.

Greece dark state: banks, oligarchs and media.

During the Greek referendum, every media network was telling Greeks to vote yes, to agree with EU proposals. Greeks ignored them and by over 60% voted no.

The best way to destroy the media is to ignore them.

The media attacked Russell Brand, Jeremy Corbyn, Yanis Varoufakis.

The media is owned by the 1%, they act for the 1%, are propaganda wings of the 1%. The media do not act for the 99%.

Across Europe there is a desire for change. An end to the tyranny by bankers, the have-nots being punished for the mistakes of the haves.

When Greece signed the agreement forced on them by the European Union, they signed a document of surrender.

In January, Greeks had hope. When ECB turned off the money to the banks in an attempt to intimidated Greece, Greeks showed courage and said no to terms dictated to them by the EU. Instead of backing their own people, Syriza surrendered.

The election gave a choice between a torturer who enjoyed his job and  a torturer who tried not to inflict too much pain, who in turn was in fear of being tortured.

Greece is under occupation by the EU.

homeless sleeping on the street

homeless sleeping on the street

Wages have flatlined or decreased, taxes have gone up, pensions have been cut. Money in the pocket has gone down. People are surviving by drawing down their savings. A situation that is not sustainable. No future for the young. Temporary jobs for the summer. Those with no jobs, the lucky ones pay no rent because they live with family. On the street in Syntagma, homeless and stray dogs.

The people feel betrayed, have lost all trust in politicians, have lost hope, a general feeling of despair and betrayal.

Conversation took place at Methodist Central Hall before a packed audience. PostCapitalism and The Global Minotaur were on sale in the foyer.

A very special thanks to  who unable to attend kindly gave me her ticket.

Reposted on Medium.

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