Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and his wife Danae became the target of a group of anarchists while they were dining with a friend at an Athens restaurant late Tuesday. A group of some 30 anarchists threw glass object at the couple, Varoufakis escaped injuries when his wife hugged him and shielded him from the attackers.
“We should not fight violence with violence,” Yanis Varoufakis said in the Greek parliament when he shortly briefed lawmakers about the assault.
Yanis Varoufakis and his wife Danae Stratou had just finished having dinner with friends in Exarchia district of the Greek capital which is famous of being the home of Greek anarchists. A group entered the restaurant’s courtyard, telling them to leave “their area”.
Varoufakis said his wife, an artist, blocked the attack. They tried “for a few seconds to reach me without hitting her,” he said in the ministry statement.
Then “they retreated fast continuing their curses and threats, got out of the courtyard and waited for us outside the restaurant,” Varoufakis added.
The minister said he thought the group was more interested in embarrassing him than injuring him.
Another verbal confrontation took place when the couple left the courtyard and got on their motorcycle to leave.
“I started a dialogue with them, saying that I wanted to hear them out, even if that meant that I would be hit,” said Varoufakis. “After 15 minutes of a tense but non-violent talk spirits calmed.”
Video from the assault
embedded by Embedded Video
Voices are heard telling Varoufakis:
One voice:”Listen, you are not responsible for everything but we have the right to sit here and verbally attack you. It’s over, you’re politician, we don’t believe you. You will never come to Exarchia again.”
Second voice: “I don’t want you to talk at all. You should go where you colleagues go for dining.”
The ministry “statement did not go into details on what prompted the attack. The outspoken economist has won fans in Greece for opposing austerity policies but has also garnered criticism at home for his brash style and a celebrity photo shoot in a French magazine,” Reuters notes.
According to Greek media, Yanis Varoufakis went to Exarchia for a drink on the following evening.
It is not the first time a Greek minister comes under attack in the times of memorandum of understanding, loan agreements and strict austerity. In an incident, anarchists threw yogurts at a minister, while some unionists beat up another minister who had stupidly decided to walk next to anti-austerity protesters.
PS If Varoufakis is not afraid of Schaeuble, you think some anarchists would manage to scare him.
Divide and rule- its an old trick and Europes corrupt politicians appear to be using it succesfully. Wake up Greece! Whatever his faults (and we do all have them) this man was – and still is – fighting so that this countrys poor have some rights and this countrys people have some dignity faced with the pitiless Eurogroup machine.
Greek Proverb :- The Saint Who Works No Miracles Isn’t Glorified.