Last quote by Yanis Varoufakis
Yanis Varoufakis quotes
Let me put it this way, I heard things being said in there by ministers and senior bureaucrats that would never have been said if the people who put them there – who pay their salaries, who vote for them – were watching and hearing them.
Well, sometimes you need to exaggerate in order to make a point. There's no doubt there is an exaggeration in this, but it is not extreme at all. All the important decisions have been shifted to the level of Brussels and Frankfurt, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism, which is a purely democracy-free zone.
Look, we of the left have a very long and distressful history of turning against one another of boycotting one another, of denouncing one another, sending each other to the Gulag even, as you will probably remember. And I am the last person who will turn against a comrade like Alexis and badmouth him. We have very serious differences. These are difficult times, I hold on to my views steadfastly, but I should not denounce or cal epithets of that sort my comrades and friends – even if we disagreed and we are no longer comrades.
What have I learnt about myself? I learnt I can be much calmer than I had imagined, under a barrage of a lot of disconcerting lies. I learnt, I confirmed that I don't enjoy power, in the end politics is great fun as long as it's conviction politics.
I've been hearing this for five years, six years now – from various prime ministers who succumbed to a failed programme. It's not going to happen, there is no evidence of that. I am the first one that would rejoice if there was any evidence of this.
Well it's not an EU-bashing movement, it's a movement the purpose of which is to save the EU from itself. The EU is disintegrating everywhere we look, along the borders, the various borders. We have new borders, new fences, new demands for electrified obstacles for freedom of movement. We have new divisions springing up in people's minds, governments that are turning inwards, and hostile to the idea of solidarity in the European Union. We have a eurozone that is disintegrating very fast.
Well, I'd like to ask a question before I answer this question. Would I have hindsight? Would I know what happened? Because of course with hindsight you do things, everything you do differently.
Why was Mr Samaras saying the same thing in two years ago?
The minotaur has asked the question.
Well, there's an interesting and utterly false embedded in the question, isn't there? If I had broken Greece then of course I should be in prison, I should be nowhere near the heart of a democratic movement in Europe. But I didn't break Greece. I'm not that important to begin with. The reason why… by the way, you said that there's a backlash in Greece against me. Maybe you should look at opinion polls.
Not badly, not badly. Even when I was a minister, there was this astonishing clash, (a) disconnect, if you want, between the people on the street, the approval ratings that I had – personally and we as a government – and what the media said. If you were here during the referendum, every single channel, every single newspaper, every single one was portraying me and us (the government) as Mephistopheles, as the people that were destroying Greece. They were warning the Greeks that if they dare vote 'no' in the referendum, Armageddon would come. And what did the Greeks do? They voted 62 percent (against bailout deal and austerity measures in referendum in July 2015).
No, not in the slightest. It really didn't. If anything it was an impediment, a distraction and an annoyance, a nuisance for me – because I was trying to do a very difficult job. The moment, the day I moved into the ministry I had a Treasury department meeting and I was told that in 11 or 12 days the Greek state goes bankrupt – that we have to chose between either paying the IMF or paying pensions. When you find yourself in that situation all you need to do is get down to work. So the star system and everything you described was a major nuisance.
Some of my students might say the opposite. I don't know. I am not the judge of myself.
A political movement that starts everywhere in Europe at once, across borders, independently of prior political party affiliations, that has one simple objective: to get Europeans around a metaphorical table, digital table, in forums like this one tonight, to discuss as Europeans their common problems and what we want are common solutions to these common problems to be.
I shall wear the creditors' loathing with pride.
We should be able to reconvene before the deadline, so that there is an agreement by Tuesday. And, in that case, the position of the Greek government regarding the referendum is to invite the Greek people to approve the creditors' proposal, if it is improved upon.
Interestingly, several colleagues disagreed and criticised not only our text but also the text of the institutions. And we decided as a Eurogroup that we shall continue our deliberations. The institutions are going to look again at the two documents – our document and their own. There will be discussions with the Greek government and we continue until we find a solution.
This nation, this country, a different government of course, they have been adding bad debt on existing bad debt, on conditions of austerity that reduce the incomes from which those bad debts will have to be repaid.
Today…the Greek people have a chance to decide on the last ultimatum from the Eurogroup, the institutions, the partners.
It is important that the good progress that has been made is solidified and it brings Greece to a situation where we can all look forward to new arrangements with the institutions and our partners so as to overcome the liquidity difficulties that we all know Greece experiences.
I started a dialogue with them, saying that I wanted to hear them out, even if that meant that I would be hit.
Regardless of the fear and aversion that arbitrary violence causes us, the answer to these people's anger and acts of violence cannot and should not be either a retreat nor a violent restraint.
My immediate response was to say there is no such plan B, there cannot be such plan b, and any mention of a plan b is profoundly anti european and in the end that's against the grain of the interests of that particular country represented by that particular colleague.
What they're doing with Greece has a name: terrorism. Why have they forced us to close the banks? To frighten people. And when it's about spreading terror, that is known as terrorism.
As much for Greece as for Europe, I'm sure. If Greece crashes, a trillion euros (the equivalent of Spain's GDP) will be lost. It's too much money and I don't believe Europe could allow it.
We had a very productive talk in a very good atmosphere with Christine Lagarde. About the Greek government's reform programme, we all know that the Greek government has decided to implement this programme. Greece needs deep reforms.
There is no doubt that the ongoing negotiations have vague ingredients and are creating insecurity in the markets. This creates problems with liquidity, and consequently has a negative impact. But we are negotiating for the future of Greece at this moment, just like some negotiated, or rather did not negotiate, in 2010 and 2012.
This was a doctored video, it was a gesture I've never made in my life and the German people deserve better media.
There could be problems. But, as my prime minister has said, we are not yet glued to our chairs. We can return to elections, call a referendum.
It will be submitted in good time for them to have as much time as possible in order to assess it and we are pretty confident, actually we are very confident, that the list is going to be approved by the institutions and therefore we are embarking upon a new phase of stabilisation and growth.
We now have a new framework but we respect the previous one. Now we are concentrating on co-authoring these reforms and these are the reforms we are going to be judged by.
I have no doubt that within the next 48 hours, Europe is going to come together, and we shall find the phrasing that is necessary so that we can submit it and move on to doing the real work which is necessary to establish common ground and build a new contract between Greece and Europe.
We're not seeking a clash. We will do everything to avoid it, but if you're not willing to even consider a clash, you're not negotiating.
The bailout means an ongoing recession and an unbearable and an unsustainable debt.
In a way that has never been tried before and with a determination that was always absent.
Our common interest in Europe, in the Eurozone is best served by a new agreement that will come out of negotiations between all Europeans which we will attend with Europe's interests in mind.
We see no purpose in cooperating with this tripartite committee that the European Parliament has criticised as being built on a rotten structure.
The real challenge is to minimize the social cost that is unnecessary throughout Europe.
I think it's an exercise in collective failure at coordinating. It is an exercise at trying to find euphemisms for things they do not want to come clean about, like the debt restructure. Now they have new terms for it: 'rollover, reprofiling'. It's more like a linguist convention than a finance ministers' attempt to get something done.