Thursday, September 10, 2015

Yanis Varoufakis In Tim Sebastian's Conflict Zone

Yanis Varoufakis' blog tends to announce the news before it happens. That was the case when he became Finance Minister (which he made public on his blog before it was officially announced) and it happened again with his appearance on Tim Sebastian's Conflict Zone (whose recording he posted before it was aired).

Sebastian definitely upset Varoufakis' followers. A 'disgrace to his profession', an 'ignorant bully'; a 'propagandist paid by the Eurogroup', etc. were some of the reactions. Well, going to a Sebastian interview and expecting a balanced discussion is like going to a Eurogroup meeting and expecting an intellectual debate about macroeconomics in the Eurozone --- it is naive to the extreme!

"Why, following the referendum which gave you the No-vote you wanted, did the government squander that? What would you have done differently from the government?" (22:10)

"When you look back at your time as Finance Minister, did you do more harm than good?" (23:30)

The odds that these two questions would be asked by Sebastian would have been close to 100%, if one had concerned oneself before the interview with possible responses to possible questions. And one could have prepared short and concise answers to each of these two questions. Instead, Varoufakis' answers were wishy-washy or non-existent.

To the first question, he could have replied: "I would have proposed to the Eurogroup, the following day, new terms & conditions acceptable to us and I would have impressed on the Eurogroup that these new terms & conditions were backed by the overwhelming support of the Greek people. I would also have informed the Eurogroup that, alternatively, Greece would have no choice but to opt for our Plan B".

Regarding the second question, Varoufakis could have used the very same phrase which he had used earlier in the interview when he was describing the Eurogroup's refusal to change Greece's program: "Human nature has a certain reluctance to admit failure" (4:05). 


  1. Dear Mr. Kastner,

    Subject Change Sorry.

    As for the debate which was a yawner of incredibly generalistic statements, i believe it favoured ND. My latest conclusions is that if there is a politically ideaologically correct party, it is the potami. I would consider voting for them but it would be a wasted vote in the grande scheme of things.

    The first priority is for a governement that will impliment change. ND although an old party is the only capable with the help of the eu. Within the ranks a coalition will be the Potami. Here there will be an opportunity for Potami to prove its worth as to have hopes for bigger and better things in the future.

    The funniest moment of the debate was Koutsoubas explaining how greece would be under the KKE. Basically the soviet union, but it is incredibly ironic that within the same debate he mentioned to the new Lafazanis left wing party, that there is no Russia and there is no China. They are more capitalist than the USA. I was thinking how easy we can become NOT North Korea, because even comunistic authoritative leadership, koreans are more organized than us. Greece would become something like Cambodia after the Vietnam war.

    I was thinking last night, maybe the biggest mistake of the western world was to not allow Greece to become a part of the soviet union. Ofcourse geo politically it was correct but in retrospect had we been a part of the USSR, maybe we would be more open to capitalism like tha baltic states.

    Even after the ww2, they mishandled greece. How they handled the civil war. Allowing a Junta to come to power and making martyrs of lefts that were tortured. Without all of this we would not have this leftist DNA in us.


    1. "The funniest moment of the debate was Koutsoubas ...."

      you must have something different in mind than Klaus and me, maybe? Can you give us a link?

      Conflict Zone: Tim Sebastian interviews Yanis Varoufakis

    2. V - never wish Pol Pot on any country/people, would you settle for Ho Chi Minh ;)

      I too have often pondered on - "If at Tehran/Yalta Churchill/Roosevelt had said OK Joe, you can have Greece on same deal as Yugoslavia, but we get Poland, all of Germany, and Cyprus and Crete (latter to defend the 'Passage to India')"


    3. To Both Anonymous and TE,

      You guys have no idea what a Cauldron of political crap we greeks have to bare with. And this is not just the politicians but the media as well.

      Yesterday afternoon one radio station invited a MP from from Golden Dawn to express his views (rightly so as we live in a Democracy, so to say) but without dialogue from an opposer. His rhetoric was very socialistic/nationalistic. That they have a 5 year exit plan from the eurozone and then go extract the natural gas and petrol from the deposits all around Greece. Who was their to tell him, "with what money?!!?!!" Being the black sheep we will be embargoed to no end. With what investment plan? The problem is lower minded people do not think of such questions and believe in these cavemen. And now they are the 3rd party in the polls.

      The result of the previous paragraph destablizes us even further politically. Because with Golden dawn as 3rd party should ND and Syriza become a coalition it means Golden dawn will be the opposition party. They will get the air time they have seeked as being the oppisition party. Then their numbers will grow regardless if they are Nazi's.

      So it basically negates any posibility of Syriza and ND to become a coalition. meaning the Coalition governement will be weak, if Tsipras comes 2nd and does not support measures in Parliment. And this is why foreigners want Tsipras 1st. Because he will have to implement and they know ND will vote for the laws, coalition or not. But will and can tsipras implement?

      This morning a well known right reporter interviewed Lafazanis the new left wing faction. They discussed the colinization of Greece by the system and the oligarchs of the world and greece for the next 100 years. meanwhile the reporter is very anti memoradum, but 3 months ago when Tsipras was about to break ties, he screamed, don't send greece and the greek people back 100 years and into infinite poverty.

      Venizelos rightly put it yesterday, although he is a hypocrit as well. For the last 30-40 years it is not the politicians that caused this but the people themselves. People sold their vote for favours to politicians who can give them those favors. Politicians simply implimented those favours.

      If we do not understand as a society on our own that change is necessary, which has occured but needs to be further made we are going to be in turmoil forever.

      Just a glimpse for you guys to know what normal people in greece need to put with.


  2. "Human nature has a certain reluctance to admit failure". But in Greece failure is caused by The System(s), only success is personal.
    Rumors circulate, that there is a long outstanding reward to the first person who hear a Greek say mea culpa.

  3. Is VV any longer relevant? The link gives me error 404 - so computer thinks not.

    If he posted a copy before DW they should sue him and certainly ban him. He truly is a loathsome creature. Even some of his down under acolytes are admitting it

    1. The DW-video had become inoperative. I replaced it with a Youtube-video.

  4. To the first question, he could have replied: "I would have proposed to the Eurogroup, the following day, new terms & conditions acceptable to us and I would have impressed on the Eurogroup that these new terms & conditions were backed by the overwhelming support of the Greek people. I would also have informed the Eurogroup that, alternatively, Greece would have no choice but to opt for our Plan B".

    Well, Tsipras did not want a Plan B, and I cannot blame him really.

    The Greek government was under tremendous pressure, and Plan B would have been something new and untried for which Greek government did not have a mandate.

    In addition, Greek government advisors on economic side were against a Plan B (See my post below)

    The time for Plan B will come in the next election, not this one.

  5. nice article today Ekathemerini....


  6. Why are we still dealing with this clown?