Varoufakis: “We had a ‘Plan B’ before we came to the Finance Ministry”
The former Minister of Finances Yanis Varoufakis admitted that mistakes were made in the negotiations with Greece’s…
The former Minister of Finances Yanis Varoufakis admitted that mistakes were made in the negotiations with Greece’s international creditors and revealed that a “Plan B” had been developed early on, in his first international interview since stepping down, to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
Mr. Varoufakis admitted that he personally responsible for a number of mistakes that were made in the negotiations, but underlined that “the very powerful troika of creditors were not interested in coming a sensible, honorable, mutually beneficial agreement”. He further added the IMF, ECB and European Commission were “more interested in humiliating this government and overthrowing it, or at least making sure that it overthrows itself in terms of its policies, than they were interested in an agreement that would for instance ensure that they would get most of their money back”.
Regarding July’s much-debate referendum, Mr. Varoufakis estimated that “the people voted ‘no’ to this extending and pretending, but it became abundantly clear to me on the night of the referendum that the government’s position was going to be to say yes to it” and argued that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras “was faced with a choice: Commit suicide or be executed”. He added that the PM ultimately took the difficult decision of deciding “to stay and implement a program which the very same government disagrees with” in the interests of the Greek people.
When asked about recent comments by American economist Paul Krugman over the hopelessness of the Greek case and incompetence of Greek authorities, the former Minister responded that he was in agreement, but revealed that there was a ‘Plan B’, in case of a rift with Europe.
He revealed that “we, in the Ministry of Finance, developed it. Under the aegis of the Prime Minister, who ordered us to do this, even before we came in the Ministry of Finance”, but was quick to add that such plans “are always, by definition, highly imperfect, because they have to be kept within a very small circle of people, otherwise if they leak, a self-fulfilling prophecy emerges”.
When asked about the alternative plan devised, Mr. Varoufakis stated that a “euro-dominated” currency would be temporarily be issued in Greece and pegged to the value of the euro, with the country remaining in the Eurozone. He stressed that he was not authorized to ‘activate’ this plan, which was one of the main reasons he claims he resigned.