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10% of civil servants’ salary in vouchers: Varoufakis’ Parallel Currency plan

The plan for a parallel currency that the Greek government and the finance minister of the time, Yanis Varoufakis, were planning in 2015, were laid bare with all the details by his close associate at the time, Glenn Kim. the plan foresaw that ten percent of civil servants’ salary would be paid in vouchers and with them they would pay only debt to the tax office.

Glenn Kim explained the parallel currency system at an Italian parliamentary event organized by populist Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement on Monday.

According to the plan, the government would start by handing civil servants vouchers amounting to 10 percent of their monthly salary, to be used exclusively for paying debts to the tax authorities, just like food vouchers are used. If the system had been successful it would have been expanded to other state payments and in other sectors.

The voucher would have a specific value written on the back and an expiration date. If the vouchers would not be used within the said time frame, they would be re-issued with lower value in the next fiscal year.


video via Kathimerini

Kim, who is of Korean extraction and remains today one of the main advisers to current Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, spoke in detail about the “fiscal currency,” as he called it, which, “if we had more time, could have been realized,” as he said.

To bypass legislation obstacles (law of 1972) that forbid the state to issue money for the payment of debts, Kim said that the voucher/parallel currency would be for a limited time period.

The measure would affect 500,000 civil servants.

But, how could civil servants use these vouchers to pay their taxes to the tax office, when they received their salary after taxes?

Yanis Varoufakis lashed out at daily Kathimerini that published such a article that “distorts the real plan” on the anniversary of the 2015 Referendum.

The plan was “a parallel payment system and not a parallel currency,” and that his plan has been “demonized” Varoufakis wrote on his website.

Varoufakis’ Plan B and the parallel currency or payment system was and still is an issue that sparks strong political debates in the country. His name functions like a red cloth in front of a raging bull. opposition parties already sharpen their clawas to launch another attack against the government.

Main opposition party New Democracy already submitted a question to finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos asking him whether he knew about this plan and what was his approach to this. Tsakalotos was deputy finance minister under Varoufakis.

KTG notes that Kim’s explanation and Varoufakis’explanation on his website are very different from each other. Varoufakis plan is much more complicated.

PS Does Beppe Grillo have plans or interest to adopt the parallel system or parallel currency for Italy?

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12 comments

  1. with varoufakis on the long run, greece would now be in a much better shape

  2. There is only one question that Varoufakis still hasn t answered in any way:
    Shortly before the OXI referendum, he claimed in an interview with Channel 4s Paul Mason that he already had a compromise proposal send by the Europeans that he was willing to sign if only the Greeks voted OXI.
    So why was that proposal that according to him was generous enough that he could sign it never signed?

    Maybe because it never existed and Varoufakis is exactly what many people believe but he always denied – a gambler who played with the future of a whole nation.

    Interview here: http://uk.businessinsider.com/yanis-varoufakis-says-he-has-a-deal-he-can-sign-2015-7?IR=T
    https://www.facebook.com/Channel4News/videos/vb.6622931938/10153050793226939/?type=2&theater

  3. as far as I remember the proposal was not official yet and changed / drawn back after the referendum.

  4. Coupons AND Vouchers
    ARE
    A Currency unto themselves
    They ACTIVELY competes with the Main Monetary Currency of the nation.
    They have the capacity to DEVALUE the Main Currency of the nation that they are distributed in.
    Both Nationally & Internationally.
    COUPONS & VOUCHERS
    ARE THE SECOND CURRENCY & serve to undermine not only the main monetary currency BUT also undermine PRICES of goods bought & sold.
    The reason a government implements Coupons & Vouchers is –
    BECAUSE THEY CANNOT STAND THE THOUGHT THAT THE COMMON MAN HAS – IN THEIR POSSESSION – THE DIVINE ALMIGHTY BUCK / EURO.
    IT IS REPUGNANT FOR THEM TO KNOW THAT MONEY IS HELD IN THE UNWORTHY HAND OF THE COMMON MAN.

    * ONLY AN IDIOT BELIEVES THAT AN ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF EXCHANGE DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH THE MAIN MONETARY MEANS OF EXCHANGE / CURRENCY.

  5. @Karin:

    I am sorry but you remember wrong. The proposal that Varoufakis refused to sign and that was the basis of the referendum was no longer available at the time of the referendum. Varoufakis claimed in the Channel 4 interview that Europe was afraid of the referendum and had send a new, improved proposal that he would be willing to sign, but that that proposal could only be signed IF the greeks voted OXI. After the OXI vote, there was no mentioning whatsoever of that proposal.

  6. What Piedpiper says is true. The proposal Varoufakis claimed was on the table was made useless by the decision of his prime minister to commit high treason immediately after the result. It would have been absurd to believe that such proposals could remain of offer once the General surrendered voluntarily. The problem at that time was that Varoufakis did not realise early enough that his prime minister had already become compromised (in fact, it is more likely that he was compromised from the very beginning). High treason was not committed by Varoufakis but by … it is pretty obvious, I think.

  7. Bernhard Thiesing

    Interview of the social democrat and charlatan Gianis Varoufakis by the social democrat and former member of the pseudo-trotskyist Workers’ Power group Paul Mason, propagandist of the “gift economy”. Both claim (ed) to be marxists. LOL

  8. @ Iannis

    My point is that Varoufakis LIED about there being a compromise proposal from Brussels, and using that LIE to raise the OXI percentage on the referendum. Whether Tsipras started the referendum hoping to loose it 55/45 so he could reluctantly sign the memorandum as it “expressed the will of the Greek people” like Ambrose Evans-Pritchard once suggested. There never was a compromise proposal from Brussel, because Brussel did not fear an OXI vote.

  9. Piedpiper
    We cannot know anything about whether Varoufakis lied or not, because the only other party who could verify the existence or not of alternative proposals would be the Troika. And the lies of the Troika during the 8-year ordeal have dwarfed even the lies of Baron Münchhausen.
    So no proof on this.
    Now, I agree with you, the Troika need not offer alternative proposals, because they knew they already had Alex in their pockets.
    However, I am convinced that Varoufakis was/is the only guy who has both the understanding and the ability to offer solutions to the crisis (Greek and European). This is why Merkel and Schaeuble hate him so much.

  10. @Iannis:

    If a better deal that was acceptable to Greece would have been available, why should Tsipras go cap in hand to the later Eu summit and sign the deal offered there? He and Yannis could ve declared victory (because they got a better deal from the Europeans and ride the public approval into the sunset of 20 years in power).
    My reading is Varoufakis wanted to push for an OXI vote so he could go on towards confrontation, and to raise the OXI vote, he was lets say “inventive” with facts claiming he had a signable deal as soon as Greece voted OXI. Reasons why i believe is that he never ever afterwards mentioned that deal again and never ever presented that better deal to the public to show people what deal they could have had if only Tspiras hadn t completely collapsed. He has a far too huge ego to not have done that IF that proposal had existed.
    Tspiras on the other hand might have prefered an as small as possible yes majority (say 55-45 max 60-40), so he could claim that he personally was against the proposal, but because he respects the majority wish of the Greek people, he would continue negotiations.

  11. “If a better deal that was acceptable to Greece would have been available, why should Tsipras go cap in hand to the later Eu summit and sign the deal offered there?” Simple: because he was/is Merkel’s guy, and he would sign anything she asked him too.

  12. In fact the purpose of Varoufakis proposal was simply to buy time to extend negotiations by keeping the economy going until a so called better result was achieved. ECB bypassed this by closing the banks. Whether a better result was possible is highly doubtful since Troika proceeded to do what it intended to do anyway, irregardless of the illegality. More to the point, it is never disclosed what the ‘better result’ would be for Varoufakis. This was the man, remember, who threw away Greece’s only 2 bargaining chips at the first meeting of Eurogroup i.e. by promising to take Grexit off the table and promising continued payment of the “debt”.

    The fact that Mr. Kim has stayed on with the present quisling phony government, in Tsakolotas employ, is no recommendation and also poses serious retroactive questions about Varoufakis’ real goals since Mr. Kim sees no problem or contradiction in this. Why the greek taxpayers are paying vast sums to a Korean and not a Greek is another question, since obeying Troika is hardly rocket science and the theatrical skills to put up a show of protest are only required of the politicians.

    Meanwhile wake up. Varoufakis’ DiEM25 “movement” has made clear that he is a committed Europeanist and anti nationalist, ant sovereignist. He has stated several times how glad he would be to see Greece become a region of a EUSA. DiEM25 receives money from Soros foundations and Varoufakis is a charter member of Soros’ YNET. Following Varoufakis endorsement of Macron, and the Macron win in France it was announced that DiEM25 was returning to Greece. It is rumoured that Varoufakis will run in the next elections as head of this proEU, pro mercantilist “movement”….the Greek Macron.