Yanis Varoufakis

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Person.png Yanis Varoufakis   Amazon Twitter WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Yanis Varoufakis - YouTube tO9r6DdfulE hqdefault.jpg
Born1961-03-24
Athens, Greece
Alma materUniversity of Essex, University of Birmingham
Religionatheist
PartySyriza

Employment.png Greece/Minister of Finance Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
27 January 2015 - 6 July 2015
Preceded byGikas Hardouvelis

Employment.png Member of the Hellenic Parliament for Athens B

In office
25 January 2015 - Present

Employment.png Member of the Hellenic Parliament

In office
25 January 2015 - 20 September 2015

Yanis Varoufakis (Γιάνης Βαρουφάκης, Ioannis Georgiou) is a Greek economist.

“The problem with capitalism is not that it is unfair but that it is irrational, as it habitually condemns whole generations to deprivation and unemployment and even turns capitalists into angst-ridden automata, living in permanent fear that unless they commodify their fellow humans fully so as to serve capital accumulation more efficiently, they will cease to be capitalists. So, if capitalism appears unjust this is because it enslaves everyone; it wastes human and natural resources; the same production line that pumps out remarkable gizmos and untold wealth, also produces deep unhappiness and crises.”
Yanis Varoufakis (18 February 2015)  [1]

On Brexit

Hitting the Brexit toe on the nail

On 28 March 2019, economist Yanis Varoufakis was scathing about Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal:

Addressing a young man named Joel, in the 'Question Time' Sheffield audience, who posed the first question on the programme:

"Who is to blame for the UK’s failure to leave the EU on 29 March?" he said:

“Joel, the answer is really very simple - Theresa May.

"Look first, she triggers Article 50 on the basis of red lines that boxed her into impossibility.

“Secondly, and that is a crime against logic, she failed to recognise that Michel Barnier, when he announced the two-phase process, was issuing a declaration of hostility against the Government. May never even saw this coming.

“If I come to you and say let’s have a negotiation between us. And I say, first, you tell me everything you want. And then, secondly we will tell you everything we want.

"Clearly, you will say ‘No mate. I’m not going to have a negotiation with you along those lines.’

“Theresa May started that negotiation, and the result was effectively a deal - I disagree with my fellow panellists here - whether you are a Brexiteer or a Remainer, this is a deal a nation signs only after having been defeated at war.

“This is not a deal which is fit for purpose for any sovereign country.”[2]

On Julian Assange

DON'T EXTRADITE ASSANGE

Yanis Varoufakis made a powerful speech in support of the DON'T EXTRADITE ASSANGE campaign at a huge rally in London's Parliament Square on Saturday 22 February 2020:

"Leaking the guilty secrets of power is not a phrase, it is a sentence. And no one is facing a longer one today than Julian Assange.

"Julian has gained the right to quote another past prisoner, another enemy of Empire, Mahatma Gandhi.

"Like Gandhi, Julian could say: 'You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.'

"He may very well say that.

"But WE don’t have the right to agree.

"We must NOT let THEM destroy his body.

"WE must END his torture.

"Because first they came for Julian. Then they will come for our comrades. Then our friends. Then our children. Then the good people working for The Guardian, the BBC – anyone who does not submit to the right of the powerful to carry out crimes against humanity in our name and without our knowledge.

"Mike Pompeo, Trump’s first CIA Director and now US Secretary of State, described WikiLeaks as 'a non-state hostile intelligence service.' That’s exactly right. Wikileaks IS a non-state hostile intelligence service. Exactly what every self-respecting news outlet ought to be.

"Dan Ellsberg and Noam Chomsky have warned journalists who fail to oppose Assange’s extradition to the US: You are next on the hit list of a President who considers you the 'enemy of the people.'

"When you turn a blind eye to Julian’s torture you consent to your own emasculation.

"Of course, by being here you have already proven that you know all this. That we know all this. It also means that you, we, have accepted the duty to let into the secret those who are not here.

"You see, Julian’s greatest enemy, the greatest enemy of freedom, does not come from evil men in smoke-filled rooms plotting against good people. No, rational, self-conscious evil is not the worst enemy.

"The worst enemy is apathy. It is the appalling silence of good people. Of tired people too exhausted and disheartened to have the energy to campaign for others. Fatigue is the enemy, the oligarchs’ greatest ally. Along with banality – with people in some authority, neither good nor bad, too banal to care.

Varoufakis in April, 2019.

"I got to know Julian back in 2015 when he took an interest in me because I had exposed the way Europe’s finance ministers conspire against the interests of the people they represent.

"Our common project will see the light of day on March 10 – watch out for Euroleaks.

"Soon after we met, in February 2016, together with tens of thousands of European progressives, Brian Eno and Noam Chomsky included, we created the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25).

"Today, I stand here to convey to you their solidarity from every nook and cranny of the European continent. From Germany. From Portugal, Spain, France, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Scandinavia. You may be out of the EU but we consider you more deeply embedded in Europe’s progressive movement than ever.

"Tomorrow I shall be visiting Julian in prison, alongside John Shipton – his remarkable father. I shall do my best to convey to him your spirit, the spirit of DiEMers from across Europe, the wishes of our Greek members of parliament who are staging a demonstration outside Britain’s embassy in Athens right now.

"Their message to Julian is: We are all Wikileaks. Each one of us is a tiny MeLeaks exposing abuse of power and letting light in wherever power seeks to grow in the darkness that makes it monstrous, hideous, misanthropic.

"As my friend, and Julian’s friend, Phillip Adams said recently, we shall not let them turn Julian into a latter-day Man in the Iron Mask, into the Man forgotten in an Iron Cell.

"So, stiffen your upper lip folks. We are here so that unarmed truth has the final word. So that Julian’s sentence ends neither with a bang nor with a whimper – but with a majestic, a marvellous full stop."[3]


 

A Document by Yanis Varoufakis

TitleDocument typePublication dateSubject(s)Description
Document:First thoughts on the Euro Summit’s statement on Greecearticle14 July 20152015 Greek debt crisisThe initial reaction of former Greek Syriza Party Finance Minister, Yanis Varaoufakis, to the Euro-Summit agreement on Greek debt

 

A document sourced from Yanis Varoufakis

TitleTypeSubject(s)Publication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:The Euro-Summit Agreement on Greeceofficial statement2015 Greek debt crisis12 July 2015EU BureaucracyText of the Euro-Greek agreement on Greek debt, annotated by Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek finance minister


References