All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts…
09 March 2016
Never in history has a finance minister of a bankrupt state - who had pensioners queuing in 40c heat for their paltry pensions - been able to command so much hot air and press time and come out unscathed from the 3rd Troika led Bailout of Greece. Varoufakis appears to be the man in economics where nothing sticks. Not a single anti-austerity measure was taken by him when he was Syriza’s finance minister so why is he feted and will now allegedly become an adviser to Britain’s Labour Party? Is it a case of the circus going global or something more sinister?
Politically associated with PASOK and an adviser of Papandreou between 2004 to 2007 - the period after PASOK came to power – Varoufakis helped de-industrialize Greece and set up Coca Cola’s Olympics which contributed massively to the country’s financial bankruptcy. After the mass protests and occupation of the squares in Greece in spring and summer of 2011, Varoufakis appeared on the stage alongside three other individuals: Katrougalos (current Syriza’s Pensions minister) Tsakalotos (current Finance Minister) and Kazakis (currently the leader of EPAM). His close political associate was a woman called Eleni Panariti (of World Bank notoriety) who earned her spurs with President Fujimori’s Peru and the mass looting of the Peruvian population in the early 1980’s.
In other words, Varoufakis belonged to the economic hitmen circle with relationships other than the interests of the nation they were supposed to serve. Varoufakis, a trained political con artist, can be anything to anyone and everything to someone. He can sell anti-austerity in speeches, rail against the evils of capitalism and debt servitude, and have as a close political associate a representative from the World Bank. It’s no coincidence that his nickname in Greek is Baroufakis - a play on the word Baroufa which in Greek means dumb.
A child of a senior manager who subsequently became a director of the Greek steel companyHalivdourgiki, Varoufakis was privately educated and basically had an uneventful academic career but somewhere along the way due to family connections he went on to serve US interests in Greece, which is what many Greeks who are part of the diaspora do, if they can find a way back, that is - if they are comfortable enough to be able to do so.
“I’m not going to betray my view, that I honed back in 2010, that this country must stop extending and pretending, we must stop taking on new loans pretending that we’ve solved the problem, when we haven’t; when we have made our debt even less sustainable on condition of further austerity that even further shrinks the economy; and shifts the burden further onto the have-nots, creating a humanitarian crisis. It’s something I’m not going to accept, I’m not going to be party to,” argued Varoufakis.
The global markets needed a diversion from the Wall Street crash of 2007-8. The centre could not be the main culprit so a peripheral country - Greece - would be found to play the role of Ifigeniaas a sacrificial lamb to the Gods of finance. A country with less than 2% of EU’s GDP suddenly was at the centre of the global crash, was responsible for all manners of misdeeds and its working class were vilified for allegedly being pensioned off too early and not providing receipts when fixing lavatories. The level of analysis was so low that we were expected to believe in a new fairy tale like the one of 1929 when they claimed black dots on the sun led to the Wall Street crash. Varoufakis was recruited alongside Papandreou to play the role he subsequently did, the latter in bringing in the IMF to save Greece by economically destroying it and the former to save Greece by implementing austerity whilst verbally railing against it. If real life was a circus Varoufakis and Papandreou would be the leading clowns taking on a double act.
Since when could a small peripheral country be the centre of a global crash? It’s like arguing that one’s primary school aged child bankrupted the family budget by spending too much on the pocket money. That’s how absurd it was.
Varoufakis as Finance Minister
Varoufakis wasn’t the head of Syriza’s Finance Team but was the appointed head of it by Tsipras. The head of Tsipras’ economics team Milios resigned early on from the position of being head of Syriza’s economics team.
If there was an economic programme and there clearly wasn’t, Varoufakis would have imposed a national programme of action after defaulting on the debt and calling the creditors bluff, of ‘less work but work for all’, to ensure the 2m Greek unemployed who have no means of subsistence would be able to survive. Syriza in its pre-electoral programme alleged there would be a programme that would help those with no means of subsistence. We are still waiting. This programme was allegedly squandered due to the demands of the Troika and Syriza accepting with Varoufakis an extension of the previous bailout in February 2015. Despite many mass demonstrations in defence of default and rupture with the Troika, Syriza never seriously had this agenda.
Illuminating in this process was the fact that when Tsakalotos, then a deputy finance minister, visited the British Parliament in a debate chaired by John Cruddas MP, he essentially argued there never was a left exit from the Eurozone. Anyone who argues for its break up is essentially from the far right. This wasn’t only Tsakalotos’ line. When Tsipras went to Austin Texas in November - to give a speech in Varoufakis’ base - he argued precisely the same point. A Grexit would be catastrophic for the Euro.[i] (4)
Syriza and its precursor Sinaspismos as analysed in the book Syriza – Neoliberals in Disguise(produced in early 2014) was from its birth a pro-EU party as they had voted for Maastricht and came from the strand known as ‘Eurocommunism’ i.e. absolute faith in the power of an unelected corporate bureaucracy based in Brussels which works solely for the big business interests of large transnational corporations that rule the world. The cornerstone of the EU is its four core principles: free trade in goods, capital, labour and services. This is what binds Varoufakis to the EU. He wholeheartedly believes in that process as is evidenced in his book The Global Minotaur in which the academic lingua franca of explaining globalization kicks by referring to standard textbook cases of the growth of Wall Mart and the rise Wall Street in something that could have been written by anyone in general.
During the first months of Syriza all we heard from the mass media was that we were running out of money and that everyone should pay as it was a patriotic duty. Month by month we got a breakdown of what was owed and what would be paid. There was not once a statement that we will default or that we will not sacrifice Greece anymore to the banksters. Ironically Paul Mason stated way back in January that the government had enough money for a few months. So whilst for internal consumption the end was coming, the reality was that Varoufakis’ role as Finance Minister was a show for internal consumption (the media created a bad boy image on a motorbike who was blanked by Dijsselbloemin with the infamous handshake played over and over by the media). Then a big hue and cry was made over emptying all council and university budgets for them to be handed over to the central government.
Capital Controls on Greek banks
From the moment Varoufakis became Finance Minister he could have imposed controls on the exodus of money but as if working in tandem with the ECB billions were allowed to flow out of Greece. When the fake referendum was called the banks had already closed their doors to withdrawals which were initially limited to $20 a day, then $60 daily and now to the amazing weekly amount of $420 in cash. Thousands of Greeks were seen to be queuing in the sun waiting to make paltry withdrawals from the ATM’s. The corporate media’s propaganda and the mass psychology of the banksters world was that if the ATM dried up everything would fall apart and keeping the ATM’s open signaled a… responsible government. Repudiating debts and returning to a Drachma currency could have provided whatever liquidity one needed in the short term until new agreements were reached with new countries in terms of trading.
But the blackmail was done to try and get the right outcome for the referendum which the corporate media was selling as being very tight (in the end it had a margin of error higher than 20% and nearer to 25%!). The 3m pensioners and the 700,000 government employees were the only ones with a regular and steady income, no talk was made about the 2m who were already removed from the ATM’s via unemployment or those who were underpaid, had to wait months to get payment etc. They obviously don’t exist and the calamity is only for new customers not old ones.
Any Finance Minister worth his salt would have resigned the moment the ECB shut down Greek banks, but Varoufakis being a literal clown (photographs in Hello magazine showed off his expensive villa, his travels on a motorbike, etc.) had no such inclination. He continued as if nothing happened.
Show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are…
Varoufakis has been on record to state that Larry Summers and Norman Lamont are his friends (or are they his handlers?)
Here is an excerpt from one interview, there are so many noes one can keep up!
How did your friendship with Norman Lamont come about and do you have much in common aside from you wanting Grexit and him possibly wanting Brexit?
I am very proud of my friendship with Norman, both personally and politically. When the left and the right can meet on a human level and forge a common agenda on important topics, such as Europe, I think that bodes well for the world. When I was a young man living in the UK, I didn’t miss a single demonstration against Mrs. Thatcher’s government, which Norman was part of. He doesn’t regret his position and neither do I. So what do we have in common? The answer is a commitment to parliamentary democracy, to liberalism, to the sovereignty of parliament. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t want Grexit and despite Norman veering voting in favour of Britain leaving the EU, he never allowed his own prejudices to colour his advice to me when I was a minister.[ii]
Who was Norman Lamont? A Rothschild man, Chairman of the Tory Party Bow group known as the Cambridge mafia, that ran the Tory party in Thatcher’s era as opposed to today’s crows who are known as the Bullingdon Club (also includes a Rothschild) that presided over the de-industrialisation of Britain and the infamous ERM debacle (when Britain was trying to join the single currency in the making) when the financier Soros crippled Britain to the tune of £1 billion and proved from then that the project for a capitalist United States of Europe was doomed to fail from day one. Lamont was also a member of a cold war security think tank called Le Cercle based in Washington which of course explain why he is Varoufakis personal friend. All roads nowadays lead to …Washington.[iii]
Labour Party adviser?
As Michael Nevradakis wrote in the past, since leaving Syriza Varoufakis has “in countless appearances and interviews in the media, kept parroting the same stale myths about Greece, such as the myth, which was proven a lie, that Greece had the highest rate of Porsche Cayenne ownership in the world”.
The Labour Party was taken over lock stock and barrel in the mid-1970s when it went into bed with the IMF. As a government it recruited and promoted a Scotland-born individual named McGregor who was to become infamous during the Thatcher years for closing down the coal mines. This McGregor was instrumental in setting up a joint US-EEC coordinating committee for industrialists to coordinate US-EU production. At the same time during his old days in the USA he was a trade union breaker, utilizing modern methods of surveillance, bribery, intimidation and media exposure to get the aim he wanted to get which was to immobilize trade unions. This was achieved in British Leyland, in British Steel, in the coup de grace which was the defeat of British coal workers, and in the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) which brought down the Tory government in 1974.
Varoufakis and Paul Mason seem to be in a marriage made in heaven with the Party which was instrumental before the rest of the EU in pioneering foreign imperialist military invasions (Serbia, Sierra Leone, Iraq, Afghanistan) with its partners in crime - the USA. Paul Mason sycophantic appraisals of Syriza were so ridiculous that Alexis Tsipras was painted like some Che Guevara figure in the Mediterranean. Once the absolute sellout was achieved in agreeing to the 3rdBailout, Mason dropped Syriza as the mission was accomplished in terms of propaganda and is off to … new pastures (or are they old?).
From the moment one of the Bullingdon boys (Osborne) can crack a joke at the expense of the Left, we know why Varoufakis and Mason may become advisers to the Labour Party to dispel the myth of any radical alternative policies. As Osborne said, “Corbyn recruited them as Chairman Mao was dead and Mickey Mouse busy”. We also know why Corbyn, despite formally opposing the EEC/EU, is now in favour of …Staying In.
In an appearance on the BBC One’s Question, Time Varoufakis defended Open Borders and showed zero concern for the native Greek population. Any amount of people could arrive as they did en masse.
We have two [thousand], three [thousand], 5,000, 10,000 people being washed up on our shores, on the Aegean Islands, every day. In a nation, by the way, that is buffeted by a great depression, where families, on those islands, in particular, are finding it very hard to put food on the table for their children at night.
And these people in their crushing majority, I’m proud to report, opened their doors to these wretched refugees. And the thought comes to my mind very simply: if somebody knocks on your door at three in the morning, and they’re wet, they’re bleeding, they’ve been shot at, and they’re frightened, what do you do? I think there’s only one answer: you open the door, and you give them shelter, independently of the cost-benefit analysis, independently of the chance that they may harm you.
Varoufakis supports the EU’s globalist pipedream of open borders everywhere as evidenced in the above piece in the Guardian. This is in line with Goldman Sachs who have their Managing Director in an important position in the United Nations Refugee Agency. It is also in line with thepronouncements of Soros that put him into conflict with the Prime Minister of Hungary Orban.
Varoufakis’ new European movement (DiEM25) is just an attempt to salvage with his fake left credentials the imploding EU. For if the powers that be assume they can double the population of the EU in one generation when there are 40m officially unemployed in the continent then they may need to wake up from their dreams. You would have to be politically comatose to believe another European New World Order - an Orwellian globalist free for all – as envisioned in the mind of Varoufakis can be implemented without severe social conflicts and a civil war type of disturbances. What was gained in blood - the right of nations to live in peace and trade with one another - cannot easily be erased by the stroke of a pen of unelected gauleiters in Brussels.
[i] Tsipras in Texas: Eurozone a Mistake, Exiting it a Disaster
[iii] “Le Cercle is a foreign policy think-tank specialising in international security. Set up after World War II, the group has members from twenty-five countries and meets at least bi-annually, in Washington, D.C., United States. The group's current chairman is Norman Lamont, former British Chancellor of the Exchequer.”