13 thoughts on “Greek ex-minister Varoufakis on austerity

  1. Pingback: Greek ex-minister Varoufakis on austerity | Dear Kitty. Some blog | sdbast

  2. Pingback: Stop British Conservative xenophobic politics | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Austerity only for poor people, not for wars, Eurozone’s Dijsselbloem says | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Germany, refugees, xenophobia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Varoufakis & Diem25

    BREAKING: Noam Chomsky joins Yanis Varoufakis’ Movement Diem25 – Democracy in Europe Movement 2025.

    “The formation of the European Union,” explained Chomsky, “was a highly encouraging step forward in world affairs, with great promise.” However, in view of the American scholar, the EU “now faces severe threats, from within, tracing in no small measure to the attack on democracy.”
    Noam Chomsky joins a growing list of intellectuals and global personalities’ endorsing DiEM25. Julian Assange, Ken Loach, James K. Galbraith, Saskia Sassen, Walter Baier and Brian Eno are among the more than 17,000 members who have joined DiEM25 since the movement’s foundation last February 9th in Berlin./ Regula Horner, 14 March 2016, Facebook.
    CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, March 14, 2016– Distinguished American linguist, philosopher and political activist, Noam Chomsky, has officially endorsed DiEM25, the Democracy in Europe Movement launched last month by Greece’s former Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis. / “The formation of the European Union,” explained Chomsky, “was a highly encouraging step forward in world affairs, with great promise.” However, in view of the American scholar, the EU “now faces severe threats, from within, tracing in no small measure to the attack on democracy.”/ Noam Chomsky joins a growing list of intellectuals and global personalities’ endorsing DiEM25. Julian Assange, Ken Loach, James K. Galbraith, Saskia Sassen, Walter Baier and Brian Eno are among the more than 17,000 members who have joined DiEM25 since the movement’s foundation last February 9th in Berlin. “activism, 14 March 2016.

    http://www.actvism.org/en/news/noam-chomsky-diem25/

    http://diem25.org/

    Like

  6. Pingback: IMF plot for yet more poverty in Greece uncovered | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Tuesday 26th April 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    The former Syriza finance minister has weighed into the British EU referendum debate, but VINCE MILLS is far from convinced by his rationale

    YANIS VAROUFAKIS, for very good reasons, is seen as a voice of resistance against EU authoritarian, neoliberal aggression.

    He was sacked from the Syriza-led Greek government because he did not want to accede to the demands of the EU elite that Greece intensify its six-year depression by accepting yet more austerity.

    Left critics at the time asked what he proposed as an alternative to a Greek exit from the EU, or at least an exit from the euro.

    Varoufakis neither then, nor now has answered that question in a convincing way for many on the left.

    His intervention in the British debate seems to be similarly lacking in theoretical depth or practicable strategies. I am not even clear who his remarks are aimed at.

    He argues that “sovereignty cannot be reclaimed while remaining in Europe’s single market” and insists:
    “Brexit’s supporters argue that Britain is better off outside of the straitjacket of the EU’s legislative process while remaining within the single market.”

    This would suggest Britain becomes a member of European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA).

    Through the European Economic Area, (EEA) Agreement, the three EFTA states — Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein — are equal partners in the EU internal market, on the same terms as the EU member states, including the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital, but having equal rights means they also have the same obligations.

    Those arguing exit from a left perspective have not been arguing this.

    Labour Leave, for example, argues: “Because the UK is the fifth-largest economy in the world, (and Norway isn’t in the top 20) Labour Leave believes the UK should take a different route outside the EU.

    “Nevertheless, the people of Norway overwhelmingly voted against joining the EU because the Norwegian Parliament decides how much it contributes to the EU and what their EU contribution is spent on.”

    And John Foster, in his recent pamphlet published by the CP, argues there would be real benefits in a British exit because “EU rules would not apply if Britain was not in EFTA and traded on the same basis as Japan, the US or China.

    “Britain’s economy is much bigger than those of Norway and Switzerland and much less dependent on EU trade.”

    These positions are simply ignored by Varoufakis and, instead, he argues: “To reclaim its democracy, Britain should vote to stay in the EU in order to confront the EU institutions from within. The operative words here being: ‘confront’ and ‘within’.”

    This assumes, despite the Greek experience, that the institutions and treaties on which the EU is based are amenable to such reform — which is odd, given that the nature, purpose and history of the EU is the prosecution of the class war at European level by different national capitalist classes through adopting a common position in exploiting labour.

    In other words, there is no coherent ruling class at a European level.

    The second straw man proposed by Varoufakis is that “Brexit will make the EU’s fragmentation faster and surer, begetting a post-modern 1930s from which the UK will not escape even if out of the EU.”

    Varoufakis believes that the EU is already disintegrating and that a British exit will hasten that process.

    This, interestingly enough, is pushing precisely the opposite argument that supporters of RIC/RISE and others made during the Scottish referendum where the supposed disintegration of the British state was to be welcomed as a blow to imperialism.

    The collapse of the imperialist EU is by contrast seen as a backward step for Varoufakis. He believes that collapse will lead to something worse.

    He gazes into his crystal ball and predicts a new Deutschmark zone, including the big players in northern Europe, Germany at the centre mired in deflation because of the strength of the Deutschmark, a Latin southern bloc, France, Spain etc crippled by high inflation and high unemployment and finally, “with ultra-nationalism, toxic social conservatism and a beggar-thy-neighbour migration and economic policy mindset taking hold in the east.”

    Since Varoufakis does not seek to justify why he believes this scenario is likely, for example why the close political and economic alliance of France and Germany will collapse, while arguing that the very same countries he believes vulnerable to ultra-nationalism will be able to generate a movement for radical reform if they remain in the EU, we will not try to construct his rationale.

    Instead we will look at the actual economic and political situation which the EU has created and continues to create. For it is the EU that is impoverishing some member states to the advantage of others, creating serious geopolitical divides; it is the EU that is imposing austerity and thereby hastening the rise of fascist and racist movements; it is the EU that is stifling economic development, and not only of European countries.

    Indeed we only need to look at steel to see how the EU works against working-class interests. On the one hand the EU does not allow member states to support a business on the grounds that it might distort competition in the single market. The final decision on whether state aid is allowed is down to the unelected European Commission.

    The EU also acts in an egregious way when dealing with economic development within its boundaries.

    Under the 2012 fiscal compact, all eurozone countries have to achieve a balanced budget by 2019.

    The annual deficit must be less than 0.5 per cent of GDP and national debt no more than 60 per cent of GDP.

    The massive cuts required have imposed severely deflationary austerity on the entire eurozone economy.

    Of course it is not bad news for all members of the EU. The poorest performers, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, have a massive trade deficit in relation to Germany, which grew exponentially between 1998 and 2006, according to Eurostat.

    It is this and the associated austerity which have given the ultra-right a base in EU countries. And this badly undermines Varoufakis’s argument for reform of the EU.

    Social democracy’s failure to confront austerity because it is wedded to the EU, among other things, is leading to electoral disaster right across Europe.

    Neofascist parties, by contrast, are on the rise in Poland, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands.

    These are the real dogs of Europe that we need to confront and we do that by throwing off the economic and political straitjacket of the EU and fighting for a Labour victory in 2020, accompanied and supported by a revival of a radical Scottish Labour Party.

    A British exit would signal the end of the dominance of the capitalist, neoliberal EU project.

    This would encourage the left in other countries to make the same journey and together we can build another Europe. It really is possible.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-70be-Straw-men-and-real-dogs-A-response-to-Yanis-Varoufakis#.Vx-8nXoYMdU

    Like

  8. Pingback: Greek ex-minister Varoufakis interviewed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: Greek ex-minister about the European Union | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: European Commissioner Oetinger’s anti-Chinese racist insults | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  11. Pingback: Puerto Rico news update | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  12. Pingback: European Union, Australian anti-refugee policies | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  13. Pingback: Dijsselbloem ruined Greece, still hates Varoufakis | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.