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Varoufakis to launch pan-European anti-austerity movement and political party

Varoufakis’ fans get ready! The ex finance minister is preparing to launch a European movement that will develop into a political party. Yanis Varoufakis will push for a Pan-Εuropean network for fight austerity. Instead of running for the upcoming elections, he will put his energy into political action on European level.

Speaking to Late Night Live program of Australian ABC National Radio, Yanis Varoufakis described the elections campaign as “sad and fruitless” and said that he will not be running for Greek parliament in the September elections, as he no longer believes in what Syriza and its leader, Tsipras, are doing.

‘The party that I served and the leader that I served has decided to change course completely and to espouse an economic policy that makes absolutely no sense, which was imposed upon us.

I don’t believe that we should have signed up to it, simply because within a few months the ship is going to hit the rocks again. And we don’t have the right to stand in front of our courageous people who voted no against this program, and propose to them that we implement it, given that we know that it cannot be implemented.”

Varoufakis indirectly described Alexis Tsipras as a ‘fool’ saying that Tsipras was like mythical Sisyphus “carrying on pushing the same rock of austerity up the hill, against the laws of economics and against very profound ethical principles.” He added “as a child I considered Sisyphus a fool. I would have simply stopped pushing the rock.”

He expressed sympathy for the SYRIZA rebels of Panagiotis Lafazanis and the Popular Unity, but he added that he fundamentally disagrees with their ‘isolationist’ stance of desiring a return to the drachma.

‘Instead of becoming engaged in an election campaign which in my mind is quite sad and fruitless, I’m going to be remain politically active—maybe more active than I have been so far—at the European level, trying to establish a European network.”

He criticized the bloc formations of national parties within the European Parliament and stressed that “this model doesn’t work anymore.”

“I think we should try to aim for a European network that at some point evolves into a pan-European party.”

Full interview text & audio here

PS Wise decision, Yanis, to initiate a European spring. As for Varoufakis’ fans they now know who will vote for in the next European Parliament elections.

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  1. I like this idea of pan-Europeanism and solidarity. On my recent visit to Crete I received much more anti-English sentiment than normal, this saddened me. Hopefully this new party can change some parochial conceptions.

  2. costa sakellariou

    i’m looking forward to hearing his thoughts on how a pan-european structure can be maintained and succeed.

    i like varoufakis – but i am afraid he is better as a critic (just like anarchy as a political theory) than as a systems man – (the horrible grinding details of day to day governing).

    in the meantime…

  3. Creating a pan european movement, whether it be a party or a group that advances discussions between already existing parties(you can find loads of anti austerity people in the SPD or the greens just not their leaders) is wonderful idea.
    The very first thing on their agenda should be a clear definition of that word though. What does austerity mean, because I oftentimes see that the same word means different things in different countries.
    It seems to me that in greece austerity= cuts on social programms+tax hikes that effect mostly the lowe rincome half, while the ordinary german will take it to mean only a balanced budget disconnected from the means to get to it. In such an evironment a truly european debate isnt possible because people literally dont understand what the other side is saying. Yet such a debate on european level rather then multiple debates on national level is exactly what we need.
    The one thing Im sad about is that V. wont be in parliament after elections. He is true non politician which something we need more even though it has its downside too(his proposal of no austerity and staying inside the euro at this point in time has simply no basis in reality, it might be the hypothtical ideal solution but its either austerity and euro or a new drachma there is no inbetween right now)

  4. Pete, could you expand on the anti English Sentiment?

  5. I guess Varoufakis now has to compensate for the pain he suffered yesterday. It’s bad enough to be blamed by fellow Socialist Finance Minister Sapin for nearly having destroyed Greece. But to hear from Tsipras that it would have been better if Tsakalotos had been Finance Minister from day 1 really must have hurt. And what hurts the most is that, deep down, Varoufakis must know that both are right. What better way to overcome this depression than focusing on lofty pan-European ideas with like-minded people! In the real world, one would have severe trouble finding a new job with the above track record and with the reputation that important people ‘switch off’ as soon as you start making a point.

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      Any verification for this strange new theory about Tsipraki and why then Varoufakis wasn’t kicked out on day two? This sounds just like the typical racist hunt the German media thought of they can lead the mob to Antigreek pogroms and now earns as going off against refugees because they never estimated the friendly ties of the extreme right in both countries.
      There do not exist any socialist finance ministers as socialism without abolishment of the system of money is state-capitalism not socialism and dudes like Sapin are just antisocial bastards whose socialism one can visit in French suburbia or in Greece and Portugal thanks to their socialist austerity terrorism but may be he is just a coward.
      In the real world people rot in prison for their resistance against austerity.

    • The problem with you, Klaus, is that your perpective is that of an overpaid banker – not an ordinary person or even an academic aspiring to represent the interests of ordinary people. Of course Varoufakis did not fit in with your friends — the “important people”: they have no intention of pursuing a rational discourse about management of the eurozone. They have been given power, and by God they are determined to hold onto it to the death.
      And of course you are right, in the business world that you occupy, people with the ability to challenge the very premises of modern capitalist thinking (that is, neoliberal exploitation of the masses for the benefit of the rich) find it very difficult to get a job if they speak the truth.
      However, that does not stop those of us who oppose your corruption from speaking our minds in public. Nor do we have to tolerate in silence your sanctimonious comments about Varoufakis.

  6. Bad decision! He should be fighting for the Greek cause.