Greek ex-minister about the European Union


This video from the USA says about itself:

YANIS VAROUFAKIS | NOAM CHOMSKY, NYPL, 26 April

27 April 2016

Yanis Varoufakis considers himself a politician by necessity, not by choice. An economist and academic by training, he became Greece’s finance minister amidst the country’s financial crisis, creating an image for himself both beloved and reviled.

He discusses his complicated role in his new book, And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe’s Crisis and America’s Economic Future, and on the LIVE stage alongside renowned academic and theorist Noam Chomsky.

YANIS VAROUFAKIS is the former finance minister of Greece. A professor of economic theory at the University of Athens and former member of parliament for Athens’ largest constituency, he is the author of The Global Minotaur, among other books. He lives in Athens.

NOAM CHOMSKY is widely credited with having revolutionized the field of modern linguistics. Chomsky is the author of numerous best-selling political works, which have been translated into scores of countries worldwide. Among his most recent books are Hegemony or Survival, Failed States, Hopes and Prospects, and Masters of Mankind. Haymarket Books recently released twelve of his classic works in new editions. His latest books are What Kind of Creatures Are We? and Who Rules the World?

By Paul Donovan in Britain:

Varoufakis attacks the monster of neoliberalism

Monday 23rd May 2016

And the Weak Suffer What They Must
by Yanis Varoufakis
(Bodley Head, £16.99)

IN THIS book, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis gives us his thoughts on the formation of the EU, the creation of the ill-fated euro and how the current economic crisis can be resolved.

In doing so, he manages to convey complex economic concepts in terms everyone can understand, an example being the parallel he draws between the minotaur of Greek mythology — an animal that fed on human flesh — to the US economy post-1971.

Then, the Nixon administration delinked the dollar from gold, moving exchange rates from a fixed to floating status.

The US then hiked up interest rates, drawing in currency from across the world and this became a minotaur which needed regular feeding. The excesses of money flowing in helped spawn the financialisation products that helped stoke the crisis that erupted in 2008.

Varoufakis lays out how populations across the EU have been made to pay for the banking crisis with private bank debts effectively taken over by governments and becoming the responsibility of taxpayers. He chronicles how the left-wing government of Alexis Tsipras could not win — the leading powers in the EU, notably Germany, were determined to make an example of Greece as a lesson to others.

The author sees the re-emergence of past dangers in the enforcement of severe hardship upon populations across Europe. Historically, that led to the advance of fascism and today that is manifested in the emergence of Golden Dawn in Greece.

Coming at a time when this country debates whether to stay in or leave the EU, much of the book’s devastating critique might cause many to think that Brexit is the only answer. But Varoufakis advocates staying in to bring about the change needed to create an EU that will work for the mass of people rather than the financiers of Europe.

Even so, he has little time for those currently in power, whose policies he believes could bring about another global crash if not resisted and advocates the introduction of a more federal structure, bringing democratic accountability across Europe.

As the EU is driven by unelected bureaucrats following a failed formula, Varoufakis sees the drift toward authoritarianism as almost inevitable. But this excellent read provides insights and a vision of what can be done to right the present disastrous situation.

4 thoughts on “Greek ex-minister about the European Union

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