As it happened – Yanis Varoufakis’ intervention during the 27th June 2015 Eurogroup Meeting

In an abusive household there is a period, before the victim can act to address abuse, where they must decide if it is abusive. The process by which challenge exposes the limitations of power, and it becomes revealed that there is no right to stand up to this behaviour, is useful. It is the period in which people learn to understand the nature of the power controlling them. To make that power aware of harm being caused by the abuse of power. Those expecting miracles from Syriza failed to understand the nature of the problem. If all Syriza achieve is the demonstration that democracy is not an acceptable challenge to the power of finance, then that is something we must learn from. The reason the political spectrum is redefining around parties like Syriza, is that they are the parties to say ok, this is democracy. Bare your teeth and show us what democracy is up against. Until those teeth have been fully bared, people cannot learn how power is exercised and challenge it.

Yanis Varoufakis

The Eurogroup Meeting of 27th June 2015 will not go down as a proud moment in Europe’s history. Ministers turned down the Greek government’s request that the Greek people should be granted a single week during which to deliver a Yes or No answer to the institutions’ proposals – proposals crucial for Greece’s future in the Eurozone. The very idea that a government would consult its people on a problematic proposal put to it by the institutions was treated with incomprehension and often with disdain bordering on contempt. I was even asked: “How do you expect common people to understand such complex issues?”. Indeed, democracy did not have a good day in yesterday’s Eurogroup meeting! But nor did European institutions. After our request was rejected, the Eurogroup President broke with the convention of unanimity (issuing a statement without my consent) and even took the dubious decision to convene a follow up meeting without the Greek minister, ostensibly to…

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