The controversial audio excerpt from the conference call between former Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis with international hedge funds representatives has been uploaded on internet. In the audio Varoufakis speaks of his Plan B project that contains among others also “hacking taxpayers’ registration numbers” and the creation of a “parallel banking system within the euro zone”.
According to Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) that uploaded the audio,
” A parallel currency plan, keeping Greece in the euro, was discussed in Athens before 6 July. OMFIF ‘Greek day’ telephone briefings on 16 July contained details. References to Yanis Varoufakis statements have been published in Greece. OMFIF is publishing recordings to aid further transparency and encourage dialogue.”
On Sunday, newspaper Kathimerini published parts of the conference call transcript. According to Kathimerini’s exclusive story, Varoufakis revealed his so-called Plan B.
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.”
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.” (via KTG)
The audio has been released and uploaded on OMFIF forum with the permission of Yanis Varoufakis.
The uploaded audio confirms that Plan B and now the opposition demands ‘clear answers’ on the issue. Several New Democracy lawmakers gathered signatures demanding that Varoufakis appears before the Parliamentary Committee investigating the Greek debt.
PS Fact is that while Greek opposition & media & SYRIZA voters accused Tsipras of not having a Plan B, now they are shocked that Varoufakis had a Plan B by Tsipras’ order. We should definitely ask Greeks: what kind of Plan B do you want?