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Varoufakis’ Plan B: Hack FinMin’s software, introduce parallel banking system

The first scenario that wanted ex Energy Minister Lafazanis to seize the Greece’s assets and arrest the governor of Bank of Greece did not thrill the public. Now a new scenario with much more suspense claims that former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis wanted to hack the Ministry’s software, hijack taxpayers’ registration numbers and introduced a parallel banking system.

According to an exclusive report of Kathimerini Sunday edition, Varoufakis  revealed the incredible plan during a teleconference call with members of international hedge funds that was allegedly coordinated by former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont, on July 16th 2015, a week after the ex FinMin was forced to resign right after the referendum on July 5th.

Varoufakis claimed to have been given the okay by Tsipras in December 2014, i.e. a month before the elections that brought SYRIZA to power – to plan a payment system that could operate in euros but which could be changed into drachmas “overnight” if necessary..

Varoufakis worked with a small team to prepare the plan, which would have required a staff of 1,000 to implement but did not get the final go-ahead from Tsipras to proceed, he said.

The plan would involve hijacking the registration number (AFMs) of taxpayers and corporations by hacking into General Secretariat of Public Revenues website.  This would allow the creation of a parallel system that could operate if banks were forced to close and which would allow payments to be made between third parties and the state and could eventually lead to the creation of a parallel banking system, he said.

Varoufakis said he assigned a childhood friend of his, an information technology expert who became a professor at Columbia University, to hack into the system. A week after Varouakis took over the ministry, he said the friend telephoned him and said he had “control” of the hardware but not the software “which belongs to the troika.”

According to Kathimerini that publishes also the recorded talks of the teleconference, Varoufakis explained to the members of the hedge funds among other also how his parallel banking system would work:

“We were planning to create, surreptitiously, reserve accounts attached to every tax file number, without telling anyone, just to have this system in a function under wraps. And, at the touch of a button, to allow us to give PIN numbers to tax file number holders, to taxpayers. So let’s take for instance the case the state owed 1 million euros to some pharmaceutical company for drugs purchased on behalf of the National Health Service. We could immediately create a digital transfer into that reserve account of the tax file number of the pharmaceutical company and provide them with a pin number so that they could use this as a kind of parallel payment mechanism by whichever part of that digital monies to any tax file number for whom they owed money or indeed to use it to in order to make tax payments to the state. That would have created a parallel banking system while the banks were shut as a result of the ECBs aggressive action to deny us some breathing space.”

[…]

Normal Lamont interrupts: “There are certainly others listening but they will not tell it to their friends.”

Varoufakis (laughing): “I know. I know they are. And even if they do I will deny I said it, so we decided to hack into my ministry’s own software program in order to be able break it up to just copy just to copy the code of the tax systems website onto a large computer in his office so that he can work out how to design and implement this parallel payment system.”

Full story ekathimerini incl the transcription of the recorded talks/ in Greek

A true story or just a claim, another claim or a ‘smear-campaign story’ against those SYRIZA ministers who voted NO to the first set of creditors’ “prior actions”? The first scenario of seizing and hijacking of state assets had ex Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis as his main protagonist, the second ex Alternate Finance Minister Nadia Valavani.

Lafazanis’ Rififi Plan

According to Greek media around July 15th, that is before the leader of SYRIZA’s Left Platform was removed from the government, the Minister of Productive Reconstruction and Energy Panagiotis Lafazanis had revealed an equally evil plan to have Greece return to Drachma.

According to To Vima, “With his departure from the government considered as given, Mr. Lafazanis held a meeting at a central hotel in Athens on Tuesday evening [14.97],” with the participation of σομε 500 SYRIZA and Left Platform members, where he described his plans for a return to a national currency.

“In his speech, Mr. Lafazanis explained that a sum of 22 billion euros that is held at the Bank of Greece may be used towards covering expenses like paying wages and pensions for a while until a new currency can be issued. Whether this is legal or even practical is debatable.”

Details of the alleged plan included also “raiding the national minτ in Athens where the reserves of Bank of Greece are been kept” and “arrest the governor of BoG, Yannis Stournaras.

Raiding the national mint with some trained Left Plaform members? The idea triggered journalists who described the plan as “Lafazanis’ Rififi Plan” with reference to legendary but fictional burglary in the film of the same name.

 

Valavani’s mother

On 15 July 2015, Nadia Valavani resigned from her role as Alternate Minister of Finance in the Greek government, shortly before an important vote on a bailout package. In her resignation letter to PM Alexis Tsipras, she wrote that the “agreement is a tombstone” and that it was a “humiliation of government and country”.

Immediately, a report at Proto Thema claimed that Valavani’s mother had withdrawn €200,000 from the National Bank of Greece just four days before the imposition of capital controls. The mother admitted the withdrawal and the ‘smear’ stuck on Valavani that she had informed her mother before the capital controls. Valavani denied such claims.

Angry SYRIZA voters

Now a large part of party members and SYRIZA voters wonder whether the “allegations” and “claims” had been just a part of a ‘smear-campaign’ against the former SYRIZA ministers who ‘rebelled’ against the Brussels Agreement. A ‘smear-campaing’ initiated by the left-wing inner circle of the government. The rift among SYRIZA is given, but PM Tsipras awaits for the 3.bailout agreement to conclude before he will try to clear the party. However SYRIZA is not a one-man party and decisions are been taken collectively. Half of the party’s Central Committee has declared to be categorically against the Brussels Agreement and the 3. bailout program, the worst austerity program of all times – and probably of all countries.

“Tsipras had betrayed the Left. If the Left imposes such austerity program, I wonder what the right-wing and neo-liberal parties would dare to do” a friend was telling me yesterday. And for one more time in the last ten days, she sharply criticized SYRIZA and Tsipras for not having a operating Plan B. She and some other people close to SYRIZA predict “cleaning the political environment by September, new coalitions among the SYRIZA rebels and elections by October or November.”

Whether predictions are right or wrong is not relevant. Fact is that the Brussels Agreement and the 3. bailout austerity program currently on the making have disappointed a lot of left-wing voters. Even if they only now start to openly criticizing SYRIZA. They first had to absorb the shock.

PS Now, we will have to wait for the publishing of Varoufakis’ recorded audio to confirm the transcription…

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65 comments

  1. People “shocked” by these (except the Valavani’s story which is a shame if true) are stupid or brainwashed:
    – raiding the BoG to pay for new currency, wages and pensions is not like raiding a bank for your own profit: it’s just reclaiming for your country a part of its lost sovereignty;
    – same thing with the Varoufakis story: the guy is finance minister, but he doesn’t have access to his own people’s tax system and the problem is that he (maybe) tried to re-gain access to it? Seriously?
    In the same time, the UE illegaly cut Greece from Erasmus, structural and agricultural funding, the ECB illegaly refused to be the lender of last resort to the Greeks banks, all of this in a clear war against an elected government, but no problem, there is no “raiding” and no “hacking” there. Give me a break.

    • I totally agree Daphne. And why should any of what Varoufakis and Lafazanis planned be considered “evil’? They were trying to rescue the country.

      • One can reasonably assume that hacking the the tax collection system breaks any number of laws. This is why Varoufakis initially tried to deny Kathimerini’s publication. Lafazanis’s plan to raid the mint is equivalent to forgery, bank heist, or both — regardless of the motivation.

        I understand that by definition being a revolutionary makes you adhere to Consequentialism, believing that “the end justifies the means” (even if “the means” involve breaking the law). This is a slippery slope. It is how Stalinists justified individual pain and suffering “in the interest of the common good”.

        This position also erodes the already weak system of governance in Greece. If government ministers can decide which laws are “unjust” and deserve to be broken, what can one expect from regular taxpayers?

        • Giaourti Giaourtaki

          It’s not criminal enough, Greece should print trillions of Euros and nothing will happen against it as Euro is fake money.
          The Stalinist in here is you as you try to distort reality in an Orwellian way. It’s good that it’s getting public as just normal people worldwide can see now who is the real criminal if the minister has to hack his own business. This is so simple to understands that to the 10% more voters that will boycott elections after the Troika-coup to destroy Greece another 5-10% will add up to them.
          I guess that the 595 rehired cleaners received their money was only possible as its blocking by Troika would have opened more eyes earlier to see these gangsters naked.

          • We need true reforms – hire more cleaners.

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            We? You only want to make a lot of money. You need nothing.
            In the beginning this cleaners were called for months “clerks” and were allegedly some tens of thousands, the fact that Syriza didn’t hire Samaras’ – approved by Troika 2014 for 2015! – 15.000 will end up in some diploma about Goebbels medias

          • “the minister has to hack his own business”

            According to Mr. Varoufakis, the plan was approved by Mr. Tsipras in 2014, before the elections that brought them to power.

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            Nope, it’s the same plan he was talking about after resigning and the named team of 5 he was also about before I.K.’s “leaks”

  2. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    Beside that banks can’t give credits people are also not allowed to repay their loans to banks faster unless they don’t pay cash or transfer the money from abroad. That’s one of the sweet results of the freedom to get 60 Euros of your own money from the bank, the rest keeps been stolen away by banks and their central-bank ECB that refuses to work it’s duty as a central bank and while the whole public believes the lies of the austerity-terrorists that they “finance” Greece with the 90 billion this “ELA” gots as collateral 130 billion of these normally served credits.

  3. Professor Pelotard

    @Daphnè C

    I agree that the really shocking revelation in this story is the fact that Greece (the former government, I suppose) has handed over the General Secretariat of Public Revenues to the troika. In many countries I know that wold have been called treason.

    However, KTG, who still hasn’t explained how he thinks Greece can remain inside the euro without causing yet further economic and social grief, only sees the shock oand horror of the government preparing for an eventuality – a very likely eventuality as it turned out.

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      And with Grexit the economic and social grief ends for all of those many Drachma fanatics that dream of otherwise never affordable living at the beach for the rest of their live, with money from their welfare abroad which then is 6 times higher in value and make them feel like a king.

    • So this parliament just gave control of banks to the troika, including control over how they will be “rescued”. Deposits over e100.000 could be confiscated which would kill a lot of businesses.

    • What’s shocking is that anybody believes anything Varoufakis is saying. He should just go away and stop hurting his country.

      • Really? YOu think that there is anyone who doesn’t believe this? The secret deals that the Troika got the cowardly traitors of the last few government to agree to.. no surprise that they were scared of Syriza. That is of course why they have fucked up Greece even more — to keep everything under their control.

        • Giaourti Giaourtaki

          As Samaras is now sidelined may be some other details will come to light. It’s difficult as the situation is constantly changing – it’s also not only one situation – but one could think of what would be the situation out of control if Samaras would have ended the program in 2014 and came back to markets like he planned but was refused by Troika and had to “resign” for; may be the whole would have lead also to a Grexit or something similar with an unforeseeable impact on the EU-Zone.
          Anyway the impact of the last 6 months on future politics will be great enough and be it only that 10% more people will refuse to play their role as voters in the perfect crime called democracy

      • Oh really? We should stop believing anything Varoufakis says according to you? We should stop believing a man many of us know, who has worked tirelessly for Greece over 6 years, has been 100% consistent in his statements, 100% correct in his diagnoses, is backed by Stiglitz, Krugman, Steve Keen, Coppola, Picketty etc etc, not to mention the IMF and OECD?

        Meanwhile YOU provide not one single reason to **disbelieve** Varoufakis, a man who has put himself 100% on the line – while you hide behind an avatar making character assassination comments. Sounds like you work for PASOK-ND or an outside gove’t or agency.

        • Nice comment. Varoufakis helped Tsipras waste 6 months. You can find even on this blog his statement about no need for capital controls. Banks were supposed to reopen few days after referendum. Did they?
          How do his statements help Greece? He never had a plan B. He only has ideas, doesn’t know how to plan anything, that’s why those 6 months were a waste.
          Tsakalotos is a huge improvement.

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            Capital Controls come from ECB by refusing its duty as a central-bank

          • More propaganda, trolling for the Troika? Obviously you are too stupid to understand that fighting for your country and its right to self-governance is something going back millennia. Ceding control of your country without a democratic mandate (as presumably Samaras did) is called “treason”. In my country, until recently it was punishable with a death sentence.
            Presumably, you are also too stupid to grasp that Tsipras was elected with mandate to end the Troika’s imposition of austerity economics on the Greek nation. That is what the 6 months were spent doing. In the end, Tsipras chickened out, Varoufakis resigned, and Tsakalotos was brought in to concede everything that the Troika demanded. How that is a success, when it is a capitulation, beats me (and everyone else with a functioning brain).

          • Confucius says: “Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?”

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            The beast is in your bed

          • “In the end, Tsipras chickened out, Varoufakis resigned, and Tsakalotos was brought in to concede everything that the Troika demanded. ”
            Glad to see you agreeing with me that 6 months were wasted, really seven by now. And Greek economy took a big hit. Varoufakis could not see that coming in his brilliance. At least Tsakalotos goes to work to minimize economic damage. He knows that the longer banks stay closed the more businesses will also close.
            No propaganda in what I’m saying, just being realistic.

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            Now everybody knows “OXI”, so go to the next shop and buy “OXI Clean” and eat it for brainwash

          • Thanks for the tip. Have you tried it?

  4. What Im disappointed with is that Syriza didnt carry out any of these plans… Indeed my hope is that they have an even more cunning plan up their sleeve… But maybe Tsipras and a lot of Syriza are simply too afraid of the consequences…

    • Of course, they know that if it goes wrong they will get all the blame. Electorates are never tolerant of bad luck — they always want to blame others. Tsipras is behaving like a typical professional politician: Varoufakis is behaving like a radical academic.

  5. Tsipras used the left to gain political capital and kicked them to the curb as soon as his mission was accomplished. He is a traitor!

    • Was not one of Tsipras promises to stay within the euro? If he returned to the Drachme without a referendum would that not go against the wishes of a lot of Greeks?
      Since the stance of the Eu was that the Euro can only stay with more austerity, should he not explain that regaining the control of state finances would only work with return to the Drachme?
      The referendum was against the austerity measures, but it turned out that further aid will only come with more austerity and at that time Tsipras could only say yes because he had not a full working plan B and as alrady mentioned his mandate was to stay within the Euro.
      I think he would need another referendum to ask ”Euro with more austerity and the Troika or national sovereignty with return to Drachme” both does not seem possible.

      If the Greeks and the Greek government want to return to the Drachme i think its still possible and would find support within the Eurozone. I believe you would get your debt relieve asap and financel help.

      But the should not call it humanitarian aid, simple because its insulting, but a rather a ” sorry we fucked up, thinks did not work out as planed and the Greek people had to suffer because of that”

      What the Europeans would like to hear from Pasok and Nea Dimokratia ” we sabotage the reforms as far as we could to avoid any real change regarding oligarchs ( which became even richer despite crisis) corruption or taxevasion, you know the legarde list, instead of investigating for corruption we arrested the journalist who publicized the list. We were upholding the the old system of nepotism and corruption”

      • Agree! Greek oligarchs added 4 billion euros to their collective fortunes on the back of ordinary greeks between 2012 and 2015, thanks to PASOK / ND and Troika collaboration. From 14 to 18 billion euros. Huge fortunes have been made in this time. Staying within the euro under the corrupt Troika, the corrupt German CDU and its lapdog mini-states only insures more poverty for ordinary Greeks and further fortunes for their clients. Why any ordinary voter would want that is beyond me.

        Furthermore, the Drachma voters include a large portion of greek businesses, since they can do business in a fair currency – not an overpriced, foreign currency beyond our control – and drachma can be used as a proper monetary instrument instead of ‘structural reforms’ ie pushing citizens into deeper poverty.

        Return to drachma is not a left vs right issue. It is a choice for sovereignty and healthy economic management of the country. And the only way we can start to grow again, since the MOU 3 is a recipe for the further death of greek businesses.

        • ” and drachma can be used as a proper monetary instrument instead of ‘structural reforms’ ie pushing citizens into deeper poverty.”

          Returning to the drachma might be the better option in the long run but you fool yourself if you think it wont push citizens into deeper poverty as well. Possibly double the prices on anytrhing imported(thinking pharmaceuticals, energy, cars and machinery plus a variety of everyday stuff)

        • Funny to see you are agreeing with “corrupt Germans” that return to drachma is better than staying in euro. Either way, more austerity is coming.
          Now would be good time to lock up all those oligarchs and corrupt politicians.

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            What you don’t get is that it’s not Germans beef to decide on this, also it ignores the hidden agenda of the richer of those that is to get back the beloved Deutsch-Mark, while the poor Germans want Drachma to have cheap holidays or retirement as kings and queens in Greece

        • Giaourti Giaourtaki

          Not to forget the 3.4 billion profit Pireus Bank made from buying the Greek sections of the Bank of Cyprus, Laiki- and Hellenic Bank in March of 2013 for 524 million, special sell-out price forced by Troika as the parliamentary inquiry of Cyprus found out: The Troika and the Eurogroup stole this away from the savers of Cyprus to gift it to a Greek bank.
          The same fraud will happen to all the Greek shares in Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Fyrom.

      • Giaourti Giaourtaki

        What “reforms”? There are no reforms to be sabotaged, everything that makes life more miserable for the poor and better for money-hungry greedy bloodsuckers are no reforms but capitalistic lobby-terror; to call cuts and other shit “reforms” is a lesson learnt from Orwellian Stalinists like Merkel who also named the unemployed in Germoney “customers” to make them feel punked.
        Forget about this “humanitarian aid”, that is only rhetoric like “and now that we also have to feed these lazy slobs”, one German organisation Mr. Frat Boy Gabriel wanted to “send” is called CARITAS and they are not send-able as they are independent and that they are already active in Greece since 2013 shows the deep fat ugliness of this “German Lie”.
        The Grexit will come when Greece is not selling fast enough assets worth of 50 billion, fast means cheap, means sell it all away for 5 billion and with Drachma the greedy friends of the Troikans can get it for 1 billion.
        But the alternative will never be Drachma or Euro as poor people don’t need any currency at all, currency is only needed to make exploitation perfect

  6. costa sakellariou

    rififi…

  7. So everyoneis happy & making with hacking jokes now !
    That’s great to hear
    All problems are solved & you are on the Yellow Brick Road on your way to the magical land of OZ.
    Only to find that the Greart Wizzard is a semi-senile old man, hiding behind a dusty old curtain, in fear of his life.
    *
    The EU was formed in the aftermath of WWII.
    The first steps were to foster cooperation: the idea being that countries that trade with one another become economically independent & so, more likely to avoid conflict.
    *
    Two core functional treaties –
    1) the Treaty on the European Union
    2) the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
    IT MAKES FOR VERY INTERESTING READING: ESPECIALY IN THE LIGHT OF HOW IT HAS WORKED OUT:
    HAS ANY ONE READ WHAT YOU ALL SIGNED UP FOR & WHAT THE RULES & ANTICIPATED OUTCOMES WERE ?
    CERTAINLY IT WAS NOT THE ULTIMATE EXPECTATION OF AUSTERITY & A DOWN WARD SPIRAL INTO THE PIT OF POVERTY & DESPAIR

  8. The failed Finance Minister of Greece Mr. Yannis Varoufakis needs to get a job.
    Or is he planning to become a media celebrity – an expert in what might have been, in his wildest dreams:

    • Like it 🙂

    • I am sure international investors paid well for his July 16 revelations through OMFIF.

      • Giaourti Giaourtaki

        George Orwell: “Investors are no investors, hedge-funds don’t invest”

        • Another GG fiction. There were no hedge funds in Orwell times.

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            Read history books! Anyway it makes no difference as the “term” investor is totally wrong as this kind of “people” bring nothing but more poverty through exploitation and gentrification, jobs only if they can’t use slaves or roboters

  9. Retweet from F.C. at forbes online.

    Colin @colin_odr

    @Frances_Coppola @johannajaufer @mjd1735 The amount of sci-fi coming from Ektherimini et al is probably diversionary.
    Retweeted by Frances Coppola

    • To quote M. Twain: “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

      The Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF.org), which hosted the conference call with Mr. Varoufakis, has released the recording. After repeatedly denying Kathimerini’s publication, Mr. Varoufakis also admitted that he had created a plan for a parallel payment system.

      What might be even more shocking than the content of the recording is that the radical-left minister decided to reveal his plans to global financial capitalists first.

      • keeptalkinggreece

        repeatedly? I don’t think so…
        decided to reveal his plans to global financial capitalists “first:???

        • “decided to reveal his plans to global financial capitalists first:???”

          Membership in OMFIF apparently includes (for the most part) international investors representing hedge funds, private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds from Asia, etc. They paid their membership fees and learned from Varoufakis about the Greek government plans on July 16. If it was not for the leak, the Greek people (and all others interested in the Greek debt crisis) would have still been unaware of them. Varoufakis is some leftist, eh?

          • keeptalkinggreece

            the Greek govt knew that – this is most important

          • Then the Greek government should have taken the right decisions rather than offload its responsibilities to the uninformed voters, right?

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            There is no crime but democracy, it fits perfect into your Stalinist Orwellian language to name real democracy anti-democratic and Greek voters “uninformed” as it’s also no problem to inform voters, just make the “negotiations” public and live on TV and internet. Liberalizations would also mean that the Troika-bastards have to stop spreading their anti-social language or Varoufakis has to come back to translate it to normal folks but so far there was not anything in need to get translated as the “partners” just sat there and said nothing because they had to spare their energy for spreading lies afterwards.

          • For God’s sake, you whiners are the limit. If the government takes a big decision, it is non-democratic. If it consults the people, it is “offloading its responsibilities”.

            If it has secret plans to deal with Grexit, it is non-democratic. If it doesn’t have secret plans to deal with Grexit it is incompetent.

            I think it is clear to any unbiased observer that the people making these comments are just troublemakers — even more so, as they are not Greeks or apparently even living in Greece! What reasons do they have to spend so much time commenting on a country that is none of their business? Agent provocateur seems a likely role.

          • keeptalkinggreece

            Trolls

          • well xenos, as right as you are on this i can easily reverse that.
            in many peoples view here if the government holds a referendum without proper time for voters to evaluate the (very much unclear) question it is the height of democracy while if other countries parliaments need to be consulted thats just the creditors punishing greece for voting no.
            the talent to put a blind eye towards whatever the “own side” is doing is far spread throughout this world.

          • Why is this blog in English then, not in Greek

  10. René Henri Pasche

    The playboy was in his birthday suit and felt the need of a cloak.

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      Playboys don’t have family and take old photos of the last summer for a home story.

  11. I remember two monetary reforms in our country and this info is eiter hoax or Varoufakis is not just amateur but …
    Greece is sovereighn country with parliament, thus monetary reform sould be forced by law, not by hacking software. OMG

    • Clearly, you fail to understand how corrupt and crooked the Eurogroup (or Troika) actually is. It has not basis in law, no legal authority, no rules, and apparently no minutes are kept of their meetings! Basically, the eurozone has been turned into a neofascist power group, run by the Germans (with a little help from fellow fascists Netherlands and Finland). It is not by chance that apart from Germany all of these countries are on the far right of politics.

  12. And so the banksters’ dirty little smut campaign against SYRIZA begins. Fie to all who buy into it.

  13. Varoufakis would have been a fool if he hadn’t had a plan B. He is a fool however spilling details now. Who knows if the Greek government won’t be in dire need a plan B in a few months time.

    • Presumably, this plan B is no longer considered viable — especially as Varoufakis is no longer the relevant minister. I doubt that Greece now has a plan B.

  14. Varoufakis, the Joseph Mengele of Game Theory.