Varoufakis spoke on new Deutsche Welle television show Conflict Zone on Wednesday, a few days before Greek elections. “I found that our government, our prime minister, was saddened by the “no” we asked from the Greek people. He turned that into a “yes”, so I decided to resign.”
Speaking of the night of the referendum, July 5th, Varoufakis said that the former prime minister did not want to negotiate any more. “My prime minister decided to surrender the night of the referendum,” adding that in a way he felt like an “accomplice.”
“We did not utilize the power and energy the brave Greek voters gave us,” Varoufakis said. Regarding the 62 percent who voted “no” in the referendum, he said characteristically: “We just threw that in the trash can.”
When asked about the resigning government’s failure to fulfill its promises, Varoufakis stated that “we failed to fulfill our promise, because there was only one promise. That we will continue to extend and pretend. To prolong the crisis and accept another loan, which would add to the existing unsustainable debt and pretend to solve the crisis.”
Varoufakis said that his proposals to the Eurogroup were “very prudent, very moderate,” adding that “they were not even leftist, they were just common sense.” He estimated that the method followed by the Troika makes “absolutely certain that our creditors will not get their money back,” saying that the program “imposed” will push Greece further into debt.
Commenting on remarks by Klaus Regling, head of the European Stability Mechanism, who called Greece’s borrowing terms far more generous than the terms of other countries on similar programs, Varoufakis noted that Regling was “frugal with the truth,” stressing that Europe decided to conceal the fact that “in 2010 the Greek state was bankrupt.”
Regarding comments made by his peers in the Eurogroup, the former minister said that his arguments “were fully accepted” by anyone with “economics logic” and that the International Monetary Fund was generally agreeing with him. However, he said “there was never serious discussion on finance and macroeconomics in the Eurogroup. This is something European citizens should know and worry about.”
When asked about his experience as finance minister, Varoufakis said: “For a small, relatively corrupt economy such as Greece, to stand tall and demand the opportunity to reform — when Paris and Berlin have not yet resolved how they want the Eurozone to be restructured — it is very hard work.”