Greece’s former finance minister says the subversion of democracy in the country now involves banks rather than the tanks of the infamous 1967 military coup d’état.
“I cannot see any other possible outcome than the further strengthening of Golden Dawn”
He made the comments on ABC radio in his first interview since resigning, also describing the new bailout agreement as ‘a new Versailles Treaty’.
“In the coup d’état, the choice of weapon used in order to bring down democracy then was the tanks. Well, this time it was the banks,” he told Philip Adam’s Late Night Live program on Radio National.
“The banks were used by foreign powers to take over the government. The difference is that this time they’re taking over all public property.”
The Versailles Treaty imposed heavy reparations on Germany after WWI, and let its people fend for themselves after the nation’s wealth was stripped by the victors who also forced it to demilitarise and forfeit some of its territory.
“This is the politics of humiliation. The troika have made sure that they will make him eat every single word that he uttered in criticism of the troika over the last five years,” Varoufakis said.
“Not just these six months we’ve been in government, but in the years prior to that. This has nothing to do with economics.
“It has nothing to do with putting Greece on the way to recovery… and the prime minister knows it. He knows that he’s damned if he does and he’s damned if he doesn’t.”
Insisting he remained on good terms with Alexis Tsipras, Varoufakis said “I jumped more than I was pushed”. When asked about his resignation just hours after the referendum, the academic turned politician said: “The moment I entered the prime ministerial office, I sensed immediately a certain sense of resignation – a negatively charged atmosphere. I was confronted with an air of defeat, which was completely at odds with what was happening outside.
“At that point I had to put it to the prime minister: ‘If you want to use the buzz of democracy outside the gates of this building, you can count on me. But if on the other hand you feel like you cannot manage this majestic ‘no’ to an irrational proposition from our European partners, I am going to simply steal into the night’.”
Varoufakis said the government had made secret plans to print the drachma.
“As a responsible government, knowing full well that there was a very significant alliance within the eurogroup whose purpose was to throw us out of the euro, we had to make contingencies,” Varoufakis said.
Varoufakis will remain a backbencher in Greek parliament, which he says will give him “more room to manoeuvre and speak the truth” but warned that austerity would further embolden the country’s far right.
“In parliament I have to sit looking at the righthand side of the auditorium, where 10 Nazis sit, representing Golden Dawn,” he said.
“If our party Syriza, that has cultivated so much hope in Greece … if we betray this hope and bow our heads to this new form of post-modern occupation, then I cannot see any other possible outcome than the further strengthening of Golden Dawn.
“They will inherit the mantle of the anti-austerity drive, tragically.”