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Audio uploaded: Varoufakis’ Plan B and “parallel banking system within the eurozone”

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.

Click here to listen to the recording

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?

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21 comments

  1. I am not Greek. However, if I were I would have demanded a Plan B that did not involve Greek leaders lying to their voters (particularly, in the run-up to the hastily called July referendum which cost Greece so dearly). Maybe, that’s too much to expect from politicians?

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      “Hastily” it only looks for you as you believe in the lies of the monsters and ignore the too many reports that the Greek government was discussing a referendum since months

      • Many people were discussing a referendum for months.
        And Tsipras could have called for it anytime he pleased. To have 1 week of discussion time and a super confusiong question on the ballot is on this government and noone else.

        • Giaourti Giaourtaki

          No it is not, it is on the Goebbels media that spread these lies and the stupid jerks who help in this anti-Greek campaign

          • tsipras called the timeing and the question. he had massive coverage in greece and people were told ther would be an agreement very soon after the vote, also banks would open pretty much right away.
            On the other hand the european politicians saying this isnt so got accused of fearmongering. 3 weeks later and find out the truth.
            goebbels media was lying all along together with the rest of europe. 2 days after the referendum a victorious tsipras presented the new austerity free agreement to the greek parliament. still active finance minster v. explains, we always knew capital controls would only last for a day or two before our european partners would give in under the pressure, i can now announce that there weill be a 50% haircut alongside massive economic assistance without any (humiliating) conditions.

            oh those nasty liars of the goebbels media.

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            It must be so funny for you nationalist douchebags to torture or are you just afraid that the whole shit still can explode and you all have to get out of office and find a real job and work against hunger as you otherwise will starve as your wealth is only possible through exploitation of the world and it’s poor, a nation of 80 million overpopulation. How can you say “much coverage” if you can’t read anything and you are not there and how can you know what “people were told”? How can anybody know before except of the Troikan fear-mongers that say they will prevent this? Where is the humanitarian aid? It was only a part of the blackmail by these German Mafia scum-bags, world champions in corruption and deportation, in that also Putin plays his role as Angie’s GDR sex-mate. Bank opening is out of control of Greece, just like the stocks opening it’s made by the fascists of ECB that stole 130 billion of Greek credits away. As a central bank they have to put the money in unless they don’t wanna make people see that no money exists. There is still 125 billion Greek savers money there that the ECB now also steals away like they did in Cyprus and you are spreading Goebbels lies like Greek banks were the winners and not German and French banks that had more than 100 billion in Greece and owned Greek banks.

      • @Giaourti The government discussing that idea for months does not preclude the referendum from being “hastily called”. It probably makes little sense to revisit old debates, but let’s see…

        For starters, it would have been great to have a meaningful referendum question. It was instead confusing and meaningless at best, and misleading at worst. The meaning of the question was left to one’s own interpretation (maybe, by design). A truly democratic referendum would have also given voters enough time to fully understand the options and have sufficient time for debates. Instead, people had less than a week (given the time needed to translate longish and highly technical documents from English into Greek). A referendum would have made sense either before the negotiations started or after they ended in an impasse (to give voters a chance to express their will — whether they valued more the end of austerity and “Plan B” — with the risk of exiting the euro, or remaining in the eurozone at the cost of more austerity). As it was, the referendum was called in the middle of the negotiations, and the result meant nothing.

        Lastly, there were 5 months to call the referendum. Instead, it was called beyond the date when the IMF payment was due. It abruptly ended the ongoing negotiations, making it necessary for (or, if you prefer, giving an excuse to) ECB to stop increasing the ELA limit. That triggered a well-predictable sequence of unfortunate events, that increased the cost to the Greek people and economy, and the bailout costs by many billions of euros. It destroyed whatever little trust in the Greek government was remaining and prompted / gave an excuse (again — whichever your prefer) to add into the follow-up agreement most onerous conditions.

        You would think that a government discussing a referendum for months could do better organizing it.

        • Giaourti Giaourtaki

          You never read the question and there were never any negotiations, Schäuble’s extortion-ring-bastards want always to destroy Greece, 15.000 murdered by austerity is not enough to give them sexual satisfaction. ELA limit is illegal as ECB is a central bank that refuses its job as a central bank aiming to destroy the Greek banks to sell them cheap to friends who own islands and huge yachts. Also ECB stole away 130 billion from solvent Greek banks as collateral for ELA and now blocks it off from the economy just like they forbid the reopening of the Athens stock.
          The referendum was ruled by courts legal, to say the question was unclear means to call Greeks stupid that are firm to the shit since 5 years and to write complicated English nonsense shows the fascist character of the power-crazed Troika-scum.
          Nothing was called “beyond any date”, a serious partner like any court wouldn’t had any problem to postpone “negotiations”, to call it “beyond any date” is part of the blackmail, just like pre-dating it via votings in some Uber-European bordellos, normally the date would have been extended because of the votings.
          The memoirs of some of Greece’s most fierce enemies in this racketeering “negotiations” will show in the future that they also knew about the referendum

          • “to say the question was unclear means to call Greeks stupid ”

            well perhaps its just me thats stupid. perhaps you can explain the question to me then?

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            No, as in Greece until the last elections it was normal that 11% of the voters vote invalid and nothing happened like this to the referendum.

  2. Our disappointment & fear all along was that there was no Plan “B”.
    But the mistake was that they didn’t inform us that there was a Plan B, which should hv bn completed in case of need..

  3. Varoufakis can’t plan his escape from a paper bag.
    This was his plan B? No, it was just an idea, not that clever either.
    It takes a long time to put together a payment system and lot of planning. Could have just given every Greek a sort of a loyalty card, like stores do, and have a non-bank operate it.

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      This parallel payment system already exists since the temporarily Grexit as all inland money traffic that is made electronically is excluded from capital controls

    • “Could have just given every Greek a sort of a loyalty card…”

      80 :b :0 😮 _:0 ._:0 :b+<.. _:0

      Are you trying to ignite mayhem?

      Above is depiction of the card protesting throng. The last one is holding the card up high! And the second to the last?

  4. Gerrit Zeilemaker

    “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.”
    Belonging to the troika is the General Secretariat of Public Revenues website.
    My questions then are:
    Why could the Greek government not have tax data of its citizens? How could the Greek government tackle tax evaders if they do not even have the tax information? Why had the troika uberhaupt the tax information and what has she done with it the last five years?
    Since when must a sovereign country let control its tax revenue by a foreign institute? Is this the future of the European countries?

  5. costa sakellariou

    it all has the feeling of a smear campaign. if the OMFIF leaked it, and kathimerini printed it…then it becomes difficult for me to take seriously.

    • I agree one always needs to think critically and consider the source of the information and the interests it represents. Yet in this case OMFIF made the recording public after the Kathimerini publication, and Varoufakis eventually admitted it was accurate in a Telegraph interview. At this point, we do not have reason to doubt that Varoufakis said on July 16 what Kathimerini claimed he said in their publication. We can question whether Varoufakis was honest in that conf.call, but I do not see (yet) reasons to doubt him.

      • Then again, possibly Varoufakis’s overblown ego might have caused him to inflate the story. Media point to Michalis Hatzitheodorou as Mr. Varoufakis’s “childhood friend” from the conference call. While Mr. Varoufakis called him “IT professor at Columbia University”, I could not find in the Columbia University directory a person with that name (whether faculty or any kind of employee). Apparently, Michalis Hatzitheodorou completed a Ph.D. study in Computer Science in 1989 under Prof. John R. Kender (which is impressive enough), but that is not quite the same as being a “professor” there a quarter of a century later 🙂

        In addition, Dr. Michalis Hatzitheodorou denied the whole story. Of course, that is to be expected as he might be criminally liable. With friends who tell stories like this, who needs enemies…