6 Jul 2015

Yanis Varoufakis: the economist who wouldn’t play politics

Why did Varoufakis go? The official reason, on his blog, was pressure from creditors. But there are a whole host of other reasons that made it easier for him to decide to yield to it.

First, though he came from the centre-left towards Syriza, Varoufakis ended up consistently taking a harder line than many others in the Greek cabinet over the shape of the deal to be done, and the kind of resistance they might have to unleash if the Germans refused a deal.

Second, because Varoufakis is an economist, not a politician. His entire career, and his academic qualifications are built on the conviction that a) austerity does not work; b) the Eurozone will collapse unless it becomes a union for recycling tax from rich countries to poor countries; c) Greece is insolvent and its debts need to be cancelled.

By those measures, any deal Greece can do this week will falls short of what he thinks will work.

On top of that, politicians are built for compromise. Tsipras has to work the party machine, the government machine, the machine of parliament. Varoufakis’ machine is his own brain.

If he wound up the creditors it was for a reason: they’d convinced themselves that Tsipras was a Greek Tony Blair and would simply betray his promises and compromise on taking office.

The lenders detested Varoufakis because he looked and sounded like one of them. He spoke the language of the IMF and ECB, and turned their own logic against them. But he achieved his objective: he convinced the lenders Greece was serious.

Varoufakis critics in Greek politics accused him of flamboyant gestures and adopting a stance he could not deliver on. His critics in Syriza believed from the outset he was “a neo-liberal”.

Among the lenders it was always the north European politicians who could not live with Varoufakis. Though he was at odds with the IMF’s Christine Lagarde and at odds with the IMF over all matters of substance they at least spoke the same language.

His policy was total honesty, and when it could not be honesty in public it was honesty in private. He exploded the world of Brussels journalism, which had become back-channel stenography, by publishing the key documents, usually sometime after midnight.

Watch below: a special report from Yanis Varoufakis for Channel 4 News in 2012

In the process he has templated a style of politics that may be equally adaptable for the right as on the left, for those with the will to try it: operating from principles, being as open as possible with information, engaging the public in language they can understand, and putting his entire persona on the line.

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60 reader comments

  1. Pallios says:

    On a chess game the ultimate move is the sacrifice of the queen. On game theory I guess that’s the ultimate move. After the strong OXI at the referendum the sacrifice of Yianis is the ultimate move from the Greece government. No excuses for Europe from now on.
    P.S.1 that move was premeditated. The whole Greece plan is designed from Yianis and will remain this way. His shadow will be behind the new minister.
    P.S.2 Nice article.

    1. Sofia says:

      I totaly agree with you and I honestly hope that I am not being naive. I believe that he is a great chess player and that even if we need to sacrifice our Queen and a lot of soldiers we will end up winning the game. God Help us!

    2. oliver s says:

      Nice analogy. The one thing missing from a lot of this discussion is how does it play into Cameron’s hands? The ineptitude of the EU to reach this point speaks volumes.

    3. Fester says:

      The only winning move is not to play.

  2. Dan Allen says:

    Not playing politics and being crap at it are very different things.
    Varoufakis’s press conferences were pure political posturing theatre from start to finish which could never have a positive influence on negotiations but would play well to the gallery.

    I think a fairer description would be “As a politician he makes a decent economist and as an economist he makes a good teacher”.

    Don’t get me wrong. The creditors are f**king Greece over and you shouldn’t doubt it but please realize that Varoufakis’s contribution has been all performance and no actual progress – if anything a set-back.

    1. Zuke says:

      To Dan Allen – I disagree because Varoufakis has helped the Greeks to believe in themselves. To me that is very powerful. Politics is not only about policies and economics: it’s also about people, nations, and emotions.

      1. Dan Allen says:

        Zuke, Even if you’re right that sort of inspirational speaking is politics (inspirational leadership) not economics. So at least the title of this blog is wrong.

        However he led them to believe in themselves on several false premises that any reasonable informed person (such as he) should have known at the time were false premises:

        1. He guaranteed that a new more favourable deal would be signed within 48 hours of the referendum. That could never happen.

        2. He guaranteed that whatever the outcome the banks would open on Tuesday. That could almost certainly not happen and was much more unlikely in the event of a ‘no’ vote.

        3. He claimed that a ‘no’ vote wouldn’t bring Greece closer to an exit from the Euro.
        It most certainly has. Much closer. If only because the banks are in a power dive.

        So if he is a political inspiration he’s a demagogue promising things that he can’t deliver and if he’s an economist he’s an idiot (see the three obvious falsehoods above that any economist would realise couldn’t be).

      2. Francesco says:

        He did not guaranteed a deal within 48 hours! He said that a deal COULD be achieved in 48 hours. “COULD” means “it is possible”, not “it is guaranteed”. Simple!

      3. Dan Allen says:

        He made those assurance in the interview I saw.
        He certainly gave entirely misleading and false indications about the state of negotiations:


        You do accept that the made the other promises and they are dreadfully misleading.
        The ‘No’ vote has (as many knew) brought Greece as close to exiting the Euro as it be without (yet) having left it.

      4. Yanis says:

        Greeks liked YV because he gave the EU the finger. YV was advocating centrist policies of primary surpluses and that was too much for the sad state of the EZ politicians who wanted Greece to pay them an annual surplus of 4.5%.

        From 1999-2008 Greek politicians messed up their people and accepted bribes from foreign companies to build up their debt. In 2010 the EZ asked Greece for modern day earth and water. Five year later someone told them no more earth and water.

      5. Shirley Wishart says:

        I so agree. It was like that with Scottish Indy Ref. The establishment were terrified by the rise in the political engagement of the public and resorted to scaremongering.

    2. Arnt says:

      Aren`t most political press conferences mostly political posturing? I certainly wouldn`t call Varoufakis an extreme player of that game.

  3. John Kerr says:

    Excellent article and superb commentary on the video.

  4. Alex says:

    In short, an upright, democratic, knowledgeable man of integrity who does not bow to servants of bankers. Thank you V!

  5. dolores payas says:

    Dear Mr Mason
    So many thanks for your news. Or, better said, the way you approach the news.
    I live part time in Greece, I am following the “tragicomedia” with passion.
    Don’t you think possible that Mr Tsipras is preserving Mr. Varoufakis for another further job?
    If thing goes wrong. No deal at all or too tough deal. And this can happen very easily as I am sure creditors want to punish Greece, and now there can’t be a “coup d’état” because with the referendum everything has been exposed to the planet (very clever move, although risky). So, then the country would be forced to go back to drachma. In this painful transition Varoufakis could be crucial. He’s adored here, and has the moral authority to lead the process.
    Just an idea…
    Regards, and thanks again for your work

    1. Nichol Brummer (@Twundit) says:

      I’m guessing he’s already involved in something like a secret ministry for the defence against the dark arts of the ECB. They’re in need of that right now. I hope they’ve been preparing for it. Otherwise they’ll be overrun like happened with Ireland.

      1. BruceMcF says:

        If the Greek governments really want to stick it to the Troika for using the ECB as the thug in a loan shark collection racket, finally forcing the government to capitulate, they will put Varoufakis in charge of the Greek NCB, and therefore inside the ECB.

  6. Markus says:

    An honest man for a change. How frustrating must have been for the beaurocrats in Brussels to have this guy among them.

    Hey yanis, we all expect a book out of all this. Someday.

    Great article Paul.

  7. Anthony Lawton says:

    Often the most significant moves in negotiation are ‘away from the table’, designed to worsen the other party’s ‘best alternative to a negotiated settlement’ (BATNA). The Greek Government (influenced by Varoufakis I imagine) seem to me to appreciate this: Varoufakis’s resignation is one such; the referendum was another. I hope, as I have previously, that this too works to Greece’s advantage.

    An economist and ‘erratic Marxist’ (his self-description) who understands games theory & principled negotiation, and turns to politics, may well be a ‘better’ negotiator than a politician who understands only the politics of positions.

  8. Another Greek guy says:

    I completely agree with Pallios.
    I also believe that by his resignation he intentionally increased the pressure upon the “EU gang”.
    Any move from them will be seen by the European people as what it is – undemocratic and directed against a sovereign nation.

  9. Mohsen says:

    V was right both in substance and delivery when he confronted the creditors.
    He is also right in resigning with perfect timing.
    He got everyone including the people of greece to think through the realitirs. That makes him a real politician with a truly democratic agenda.

  10. Nobby says:

    Paul Mason has become the Walter Duranty of his era. He seems oblivious to the fact that the majority of his peers read his articles for the humour value…

    1. David says:

      Comparing Paul Mason to Walter Duranty is an unwarranted & nasty slur.

      How do you know that ‘the majority of his peers read his articles for the humour value’? Please provide proof of this ‘fact’.

      I think his articles (together with those of Ambrose Evans-Pritchard) are excellent – gritty, insightful & informative.

    2. Maria says:

      What a useful comment, so elegant, insightful and well-argued! I am so impressed I can’t help laughing out loud to your contribution to the discussion. Personally, I don’t give a damn what his peers think of him. We can form our own opinions, thank you very much!

    3. BeeDee says:

      Incorrect, we do not view Paul Mason’s contributions in that way, may be you do, but speak for yourself. Please keep your right-wing bigotry confined to cesspit from which it so plainly comes.

  11. gmd says:

    I liked Varoufakis. A politician who actually knew his stuff. Compared to our intellectually minuscule and poorly educated Gideon Osborn, Vanis is a giant. Of course they needed him gone because he confronted them with the truth about their broken financial model. I am deeply saddened that the one capable politician in Europe has been removed.

  12. marco says:

    Immature, Narcissistic, Psychopath.

  13. Dave Hansell says:

    Commentator gmd , above, hits the bigger picture nail on the head. Varoufakis ‘ s position on the issue is not, as some commentators fool themselves into believing, a political one but a practical one.

    The model being followed by the ECB, IMF and various Governments, including the UK, does not work. Neo liberalism has been shown time and time again to be a total failure, an impractical belief system that impoverishes everyone and everything it touches from the planets environment and life support systems through to the majority of the people subject to its bizzarre and malign dictates. At best it is merely a convenient sub intellectual tool used by that tiny minority with more money then they know what to do with, along with their paid for dishonest hacks and pretend academic experts to convince everyone that the natural order of life is for the vast majority of people to continuously shovel increasing amounts of resources, wealth, power and money upwards to a tiny oligarchy of self serving wasters.

    The sheer mardy arseness of the individuals who make up the Troika in their responses to those like Varoufakis who demonstrate the facts of the broken and impractical, not fit for purpose, model which is the basis of their belief system is like watching a group of kids in a playground responding to someone who has shown them up for the total wassocks they really are.

    From a purely practical standpoint his replacement, another economist I understand, needs to be equally uncompromising in pointing out and maintaining that their belief system and it’s model has not got a leg to stand on and should not be the basis of any realistic way forward.

    Any weakness on the part of the Greeks towards these bullies and gangster capitalists will merely encourage them to go after others to feed their insatiable black hole model.

  14. Ms Uprite says:

    Nobby- your name says all there is to say about your stupid insult.

  15. Chris Piché says:

    “Varoufakis’ machine is his own brain.” And what a marvelous one it is! It’s full of creative, evocative, feisty, poignant, philosophic, idealistic and contradictory meaning. He thinks and doesn’t think before he speaks. That’s also good news. He’s not just a calculating machine. Varoufakis is like a channel full of light taking in and reflecting the the world he experiences. He broke through the snotty club-talk of econo-speak. He brings the notion of value and humanity back into the dehumanized, totalizing world neo-liberals constructed. He’s a catalyst for change. He broke into the jaded cage in Brussels and spoke out for dignity and justice, come what may. In that sense his mission is complete. He will be missed front-stage, but his heart will keep beating, his big-mind will keep speaking and bringing life to Greece, Europe and the world.

    Yanis, thanks for being you. Paul, thanks for being right there and letting it rip. The story is not over. An old world is dying while a new one is trying to burst through. Some may even call that a process of revolutionary change.

  16. Paul says:

    Excellent article – Varoufakis is a breath of fresh air in politics these days.

  17. Sally Tournas says:

    Yannis Garoufakis strikes me as an honest, no-nonsense, brilliant economist with ethics and integrity beyond that of those who criminally blackmailed Greece into this mess. He is a man who stands much taller than most and Greece is very fortunate to have him. He has done an outstanding job as an economist and as a leader of the people of Greece, particularly at this time of crisis and as this fiancial fiasco unfolds. He will to down in history as a valiant hero. Bravo Yanni!

  18. Tassos Goudelis says:

    I am a permanent resident of Greece and very surprised to hear comments here:
    1. Mr.Varoufakis is, based on his cv, at best a mediocre economist that has worked all around the globe but never on a top class institution
    2. He took the economy from a growth of about 2,5% in the last quarter of 2014 and leaving it today at estimated recession 2.5 – 3% for 2015, how exactly is he successful?
    3. He was wrong in his evaluations about:
    – the Greek government’s ability to put debt on the table and take negotiations from technical to political level
    – the extent to which EU and IMF would show more leniency when faced with possible Grexit
    – the effect a possible Grexit would have in the markets.
    So basically he didn’t get anything right
    4. He managed to isolate himself and his country from everyone. I suspect this was not due to his genius but to his unjustified arrogance and lack of basic good manners
    5. Worst of all is that the wager of his tragically failed “Game Theory” is the future of a whole country and people living in it. This is not a lab experiment and we are not guinea pigs, to describe his attitude irresponsible is an enormous understatement

  19. Martin Porter says:

    Varoufakis knew enough about Game Theory to know you can’t game a problem like this. Complete honesty and integrity was the only winning tactic. Unfortunately he was the only player who used it.

    A great man. I would say he’ll be missed, except that I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of him.

    1. Dan Allen says:

      I think most people study ‘The Prisoner’s Dilemma’ in about their second or third Game Theory lesson.
      He’s a dangerously naive fool if he believed complete honesty and openness were the best tactic.

      As I’ve pointed above out he’s made enough false promises that he couldn’t ever deliver that I don’t think he’s been very honest or open in his dealings.

      This isn’t a ‘Nice guys finish last’ story it’s ‘Naive fool gets completely out of his depth and stacks it’ story.

  20. andreas says:

    I really dont get the Varoufakis fan club fantasists. Varoufakis has been an utter failure as a politician and has brought his country to the brink (if not actual) destruction.
    Maybe his narcissism is sufficient to allow him to live with his legacy for the rest of his life – though I predict not in Greece when the people he misled wake up to what this demagogue has wrought on us. Greece was beginning to turn the corner after 5 years of belt tightening and human suffering: we had a small primary surplus, our economy was predicted to grow at over 2% in 2015, unemployment was beginning to drop and there were a number of large scale investments that were about to begin. Pensions were reduced but paid without fail every month. All that has been reversed in the space of a few months. Our banks are shut, our economy is in ruins, the tourist season has collapsed, pensioners are humiliated trying to withdraw E120 in the blazing heat. Paul Mason, you have no idea what an affront to our dignity it is to have to line up every day to try and withdraw our savings in 60 euro lots. Will food rationing be next? This is Varoufakis’ legacy and a measure of his success. Finance ministers need to be pragmatists. They need to be able to balance the books and not try to save the world. Diplomatically he was also a disaster. We have become pariahs. In Spain, 75% of the population is in favour of Grexit. So much for creating alliances among the people of Europe. The collapse of the markets he had been banking on never materialised, in fact the euro strengthened against the dollar after the referendum was announced and spreads only increased marginally in the periphery. As for the referendum – it was a farce and an affront to democracy. I am Greek and I voted. The question posed was so ephemeral that no one knew what on earth they were voting for or against. Everyone had their own interpretation. So stop praising him. He has been catastrophic – a teenager that never grew up to realize that actions have consequences. Buying his books and paying him to lecture would be the moral equivalent of profiting from crime.

  21. Suzanne says:

    This wasn’t a “resignation” that signifies failure, this was a strategic withdrawal. Big difference. It’s all in the perception.

  22. SD says:


  23. Laura says:

    Paul Mason,

    I have followed your vlogs and I have had ENOUGH of you!!!! The way you report the crucial aspects of this crisis, are awful, truly awful. You try hard to massage your reporting “as if” you are unbiased, but really you are so biased and you spit at Syriza government and its actors at every opportunity that you can. I think you are the worst reporter of Channel 4. I don’t know how they allow someone, without even an economics background, without being capable of understanding the mentality of the Greek people or whatever country that you are commenting on. That Channel 4 has employed you to do this important job, I am appalled! I would have certainly fired you if I were your boss. You disinform, you emphasise the wrong things and you try to brainwash the British viewer who is so remote and often misinformed on what is actually happening to Greece right now and what it all means for the rest of Europe.

    Please do us a favour, get back to UK, leave Athens alone, stop basking in its glorious sun and beauty, but start commenting on football matches instead, you are way more suited to that.
    And as for Mr. Varoufakis, I don’t know why he accepted to give you an interview, it was too much of a favour for you and your interviewing was revolting.

    *From a fellow economic, who’s had enough of media brainwashing, especially of journalists like you who arrogantly pretend to know it all.

    1. SD says:

      High blood pressure ? take some ksydi . Believe me it really works !

  24. Carey says:

    I thought your blog on the eve of the results of the referendum (blog 10 Youtube) hit the spot when you put in to perspective how extraordinary the vote was given the weight behind the “yes” lobby. It was the first time I had come across your blog and I then watched them all. No-one else put it in perspective like that, so, thank you Paul. I hope you will continue reporting. And, like Yanis Varoufakis saying that he wears the creditors loathing with pride – so nobbys post above re your peers reading your work for the humour value, wear their scorn with pride – they are little more than careerist, lazy, and worse – irresponsible. They would probably be humoured by John Pilger too – who has a massive public following as you know!

  25. diane says:

    A flamboyant, divisive narcissist with a compelling, realistic argument who did, indeed, give Greece a boost of self-confidence but whose own personality flaws ultimately hurt the country at a fragile time, when unity is more imperative than anything else.

    1. SD says:

      To remove a cancer takes many and different tools , and also it is painful to the healthy body.

  26. IKB says:

    Is there single example from anywhere in history where a socialist/marxist government model does not end in abject ruin and misery; and yet here are supposed highly intelligent people getting paid piles of cash by channel 4 or the Greek government (take your pick) saying it could if it wasn’t for those nasty bankers and rich countries refusing to pay for it all.

    1. oliver s says:

      Turning the question on its head. Is there an example of successful monetary union without political union. Greeks were accustomed to 20% interest rates and a similarly declining currency and were bluffed into the Eurozone by Goldman Sachs – and then the money spigots were turned on. Paul Mason should look at Das Bikd today showing Kaiserin Angela. How did this become a purely German/ Greek thing?

  27. Stuart Archbold says:

    Perhaps what V understood was that Merkel, Hollande, and Draghi have been trying, yet again, to defend the indefensible – their banks, which stand to lose heavily if Greece defaults entirely. As usual the bankers win, although maybe, just maybe, stirred by V, the Greek people will give them a bloody nose.

  28. Carl says:

    But has V been removed? Watching the interaction between Syriza and the Troika reminded me of Nasser’s comments about dealing with the Americans: you never knew if they were being very dumb or very clever. The more time passes, the more I think the latter. I think Syriza have played this is a way that the Euro elite have not expected, and have outclassed them. What’s not clear to me is what their final objective is; are they looking for a better deal inside the Euro or life outside it, but (I guess) still in the EU?

    It throws an interesting light on Cameron’s ‘renegotiations’. If the EU will go to this length to retain a small, poor country like Greece he doesn’t stand a chance of getting Britain out – not that he wants to, of course.

  29. Lansdown says:

    Nobby. By any chance, might you be one of the many MSM churnalists who have been cheerleading the clown like antics of the ECB?

  30. Bonvivant says:

    I’m afraid that Varoufakis has shown himself to be what he is: a game THEORIST. When it comes to putting his theories into practise via politics he failed. Remember the old adage: ‘those who can, do; those who can’t, teach’.

  31. The Analyst says:

    Well no one reports on the Kleptocracy of Greece’s Liberal politicians and how with pension union vote buying scams for decades they borrowed all this money. Terms like pay to play and they killed the goose that laid the golden egg (a.k.a. taxpayers) really do apply to Greece. How about we bail out Greece after we arrest every politician that borrowed all this money for decades in Greece, have a nice trial exposing the vote buying scam publicly and where we confiscate all their wealth, and perhaps a firing squad after the trial. After that maybe print euros to bail out Greece and well Spain, Portugal, etc. I think before that trial it’s pointless to bail out Greece.

  32. Andreas says:

    I hope channel 4 and Mr. Mason in particular will report that the Athens Union of Journalists (ΕΣΗΕΑ) has called 9 of greece’s top television journalists to appear before a disciplinary committee to answer for their reporting during the week preceding the referendum. The accusations “include false reporting”, spreading misleading news” and ” copying “the extortionate proposals of the foreign lenders” while leading the mass operation aimed at terrorizing citizens. For those of you that are not Greek these are among greece’s leading TV journalists, are highly regarded, and each individually represent the main privately owned Greek TV channels. Is this the beginning of censorship and authoritarianism? Surely Mr. Mason you and C4 will defend press freedom and condemn this attemp at censorship by the journalists’ Union.

    1. Dave Hansell says:

      Run that by me again?

      You are equating freedom of speech with the right to print and disseminate lies, false rumours and propaganda?

      You are getting self righteous and wanting to die in a ditch to defend the right of people to in effect shout fire in a crowded cinema when there is no fire.

      I think what we need here is the Big Billy Goat Gruff to call out the obvious trolls.

  33. Bob Long says:

    IKB: “Is there single example from anywhere in history where a socialist/marxist government model does not end in abject ruin and misery”

    Is there a single example from anywhere in history where a capitalist market model does not end in a stock market crash abject ruin and misery for everyone except the few super-rich investors who got out at the top of the market? And is there a single example of this happening where the taxpayer didn’t have to pay the price to repair the economy afterwards?

    The real problem is corruption, Capitalism and Marxism (and various mixtures) are just mathematical concepts and if stuck to by robots would probably work. But some humans will always find a way to exploit the system and they will break it if they are not caught in time – as Stalin did with Communism, and Vanderbilt did with Capitalism. The Greek crisis is a capitalist crisis – it was started when some bankers realised that they could lend unrealistic amounts of money to the Greeks (who were desperate), charge the Greeks interest and rely on the ECB to pay back the principle. It was, in fact, free money for the banks drained from the pockets of EU “citizens”. That’s not Marxism. In fact, it’s very similar to the trick they played with the ERM, another attempt to artificially prop up a financial system using central banks which was exploited by amoral investors looking for risk-free speculation.

    Now the Greeks have said that they’ll not participate in this sham any longer, the Germans are panicking because their banks are massively exposed to the result of their own actions. Instead of arresting the people responsible, which is an admission of failure by the regulators, the Germans want to keep everyone focused on the question of what the Greeks are doing and pretending that the Greek people want handouts when the money in question would really be used to pay/bail-out the German and French banks that are in danger.

  34. Robert says:

    To me, from a safe distance, it seems odd that in a country among the most damaged by neoliberalism (Iceland would vie as worst-damaged of all) there clearly are some people – represented here – who still fervently believe in it. Of course as The Analyst points out Greece has suffered also from the depredations of its corrupt governing-class but (unlike Iceland) has so far failed to bring any of the culprits to book. (So have USA, UK, Ireland, etc etc).

    Perhaps as a result, whereas in Iceland I imagine one would be hard put to it to find many (any?) champions of neoliberalism, in Greece large numbers of them (<40%?) still evidently exist and in Ireland (amazingly!) and elsewhere they still constitute the majority.

    You only get to change your future once you've faced-up to the sins of your past. The Icelanders did just that but Greece apart from a few lone voices seems to be in denial about it. Willingness to pay your taxes is an outcome of civic commitment and that's not forthcoming before those who've shamelessly gamed the system in the past are named and shamed and confidence in its integrity is won.

    I've considerable admiration for Varoufakis's efforts directed at the macro- level and his tackling head-on of the prevailing predatory neoliberal orientation of EU governance and global finance, but it's at the micro- level (that of personal ethics and civic responsibility – or lack of same) that non-Greeks' attention principally focuses and there the picture seems altogether less inspiring, not to say sleazy.

    The sympathy from other europeans that might but for this have been forthcoming won't be on any scale that matters until Greek society is seen to turn over a new leaf in this respect. Harsh, but human (and nothing to do with neoliberalism, just with perceived fairness).

    1. SD says:

      Greece “s “sins” are very strong, very deep,and for veeeery long time, it is a Hercullian tusk by a few . Look what is happening already to this new government that hinted towards this .But rest assure this will be done because that is what all this is about .

  35. Andreas says:

    I’m sure all admirers of varoufakis the principled politician, will be pleased to know that he just tweeted that he won’t be voting in the Greek parliament tonight as he will be absent for “family reasons”.. This particular vote is wth respect to the 11th hour offer that will ultimately decide greece’s future. A man of principle would have had the courage and the obligation as an MP to vote either for or against and not make pathetic excuses that the rest of us stopped making after we left school. Paul Mason this is the narcissistic demagogue you so admire. An unprincipled, cynical coward unwilling and unable to take responsibility for his actions. May he suffer along with the rest of us Greeks. Though I doubt it, supported by a wealthy wife, with an Australian passport and a job waiting for him at the University of Texas.

    1. SD says:

      VAROUFAKIS stated his position on this issue . That covers me, what is your problem? Trying to keep your job at mega or antenna ,or are you brain washed by them ?

    2. Evan James says:

      Very well said.
      This is a man who came along when Greece couldn’t hit any lower and UP was a direction that was there for him to grasp.
      There is a reason he will be known as the shortest termed Finance Minister in Greek political history.
      He is more conscious of public recognition as a ‘cool dude’ and ‘celebrity icon’ than his real position at hand for which he has failed, being the reality.
      The quicker he rides off into the sunset of nowhere with his token blonde babe on the back, can’t be soon enough.
      It was embarrassing for me as a Greek to witness this megalomaniac try to muscle up on the real power brokers of European politics with unrealistic and stupid propositions, not to mention the open insults directed toward them.
      Enough time has been wasted with this amateur.

  36. Mohsen says:

    I am truly amazed at the political and economic ignorance displyed by some of the comments. It is clear to anyone with eyes to see that Greece, weak and small country, has been squeezed by the international banks and their local collaborators. Now the poorest are once again asked to pay the price of the outright robbery of the country. The pattern of voting to the referendum clearly shows that those squeezed by the austetity – the poorest in the country – undrestand this and voted no. Mr V alongside others helped the people of greece to stand up to this. The fact that they may have to bend to overwhelming imbalance of power in no way diminishes the beauty of their stance. It is a lesson to the rest of us.

  37. SD says:

    Read HOMER”S the odyssey , you will understand at what pointS of THEIR plan , Yanis and Alexis are in ref/n to ITHACA

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