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Referendum or Elections: Greek FinMin issues statement calling Corriere della Sierra to correct Varoufakis’ statement

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said that the government could propose a referendum or new elections if the Eurogroup partners reject his reforms proposal. The statement comes a day before the Eurogroup meeting on Monday, where the Europartners will discuss the Greek reforms proposals.

In an interview to Italian daily Corriere della Sierra the Greek FinMin said that in case Brussels would not accept his reforms plan:

There could be problems. But, my Prime Minister said, we are not glued to our seats. We can go back to elections. Call a referendum (on the euro, editor’s note).”

Varoufakis’ proposal for elections was promptly rejected by some SYRIZA officials, with MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis to declare Sunday morning to private Mega TV:

“The government has a fresh popular mandate and this we should turn into practice instead of thinking of new elections. the popular mandate is solution within the euro with growth and cohesion.”

UPDATE: According to ANT1 TV, government sources Greek rebuffed Corriere Della Serra report citing Varoufakis as saying referendum or elections if no deal and accused the Italian newspaper of having played games with “editors’ notes.”

Gouvernment sources commented:

In recent days we have been watching efforts to degrade Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. Whether with ironic comments  or with false or inaccurate news. Statements that were never made or by adding clarifications” that com pletely changed the meaning of the responses, as was done with this interview of the minister in the newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Y. Varoufakis never refers to areferendum on the euro.” The word “euro” has been added by the journalist, that’s why “it is in parentheses“. (via action24.gr)

Original text in Corriere della Sierra

Se però Bruxelles non accetta il vostro piano…
«Potrebbero esserci problemi. Ma, come mi ha detto il mio primo ministro, non siamo ancora incollati alle poltrone. Possiamo tornare alle elezioni. Convocare un referendum (sull’euro, ndr)».

KTG: So? Varoufakis said ‘referendum’ but not on the euro? On what then?

UPDATE II: Greek Finance Ministry issued a statement speaking of “distortion on the side of Corriere della Sierra and revealing the correct answer by Varoufakis:

…”the Minister replied that, as stated by the Prime Minister, we have not loved the chairs if necessary, if we find ourselves in front of intransigence, we will resort to the Greek people either with elections or referendum– But at this point of the interview the newspaper added “on the euro” something that the Minister neither said nor implied.”

(statement in Greek at Greek Finance Ministry website.)


More from the interview

Among others Varoufakis told also Corriere della Serra also that Greece does not need a new loan of 50 billion, as rumored.

Q Serious problems of cash?
A “I can only say that the money to pay pensions and salaries of public employees have it. For the rest we’ll see. “

Q In recent days there has been talk of the need for a third loan to Athens, 50 billion.
A “I do not think we need a new loan. We will not return in the mechanism of the loan in exchange for a program to be respected. The idea that we propose to our European partners is that of a project that restores to Greece a chance to grow up and stops the humanitarian crisis. “

Q How?
A “Between now and June is to stabilize the situation. Then, it must be taken to a second level: to restart the Greek economy. Our intention is to get to a “contract for growth” based on a reasonable approach to taxes. ”

Q A “contract on growth” based on what?
A “Three points: A surplus of the revised budget. An intelligent debt restructuring. A plan for major investments. “

Varoufakis described the constant Grexit talks as “poisonous”.

Full interview in Italian here. Excerpts via google translation and Greek media

PS in public opinion polls, Greeks support the euro at 75%-80% – too lazy to find the exact percentage right now – . Therefore, no need to have a referendum.

In this case, we can say: hold your horses, cowboy!

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  1. Absolutely.

    What stupid Berlin does not understand is that any final offer has to be voted by the Greek people because its acceptance would violate a number of new government covenants and as such only the people could decide on such matter.

    As to the false association between Greek eurozone acceptance (say 80%) and “Grexit” which is a purely invented term with zero substance, a referendum would not be whether Greece keeps the euro or not. It would be whether Greece accepts further humiliating terms or not.

    To keep the euro or not is basically an idiot’s argument. Having suffered an already 40% devaluation, if it was possible to leave the euro (which de facto is not) then Greece would suffer an additional 40-50% devaluation leaving Greeks holding a currency at 10% of it pre-crisis value.

    The only way and smart way to leave the euro would be a coordinated exit by say 5-7 eurozone countries all exiting the euro at the same time thus causing untold damage to German exports and the German economy. And such would be a worthy strategic move because it would defeat the enemy and bring its unconditional capitulation.

    Therefore a referendum means nothing to the status of the euro for Greece ( a Grexit is not allowed nor is it possible according to the treaties).

    Grexit is an invented terms because Berlin reads the exact same reports that Greeks want to keep the euro by a large margin and then terrorizes them with the only falsehood which is contrary to such desire.

    A referendum on any terms of a potential deal or absence of a deal will be a further embarrassment to Berlin because it will show that the democratic will of the people is violated, which is precisely the Achilles heel of the EUSSR. Rubbing Berlin’s face into the results of a Greek referendum is real leverage. Idiot’s talk about Grexit is not not.

  2. new elections would be not to bad.
    SYRIZA could get rid of the rightwingers.

  3. To me, the material point (and the one that really infuriates Schaubel) is there is no possible way for Germany to FORCE Grexit; indeed there is no way to force any member to leave the Euro. That is there problem. Structurally it is the same thing as bankruptcy. Germany cannot come into Greece and SEIZE things; it if FORCED to push for Greece to SELL things, like its ports.
    Its time to make Schaubel the butt of all the possible jokes there are for a choleric post-nazi statesman who only narrowly escaped prosecution for crimes in public office (oh yes, nearly got him they did)