Can Yanis Varoufakis save Europe?

When we say that the European Union sucks and we need to fix it, that is a very radical position. In 2015, Yanis Varoufakis became infamous
as Greece’s leather-clad finance minister who went to war
with Brussels against austerity and lost. Now he’s back and going to battle with the EU establishment again, this time as the face
of a radical pro-European movement. Five hundred billion euros every year
to spend on the green transition that is necessary to create
good-quality jobs and to save the planet. Where do we find the €100bn that we need
every year to fight poverty? It’s called the new deal for Europe, we’re the only contenders in the May European parliament elections that have specific answers to what can happen tomorrow morning across Europe. And we are seeking your vote. This is a pivotal moment. You can see it in Britain with Brexit,
you can see it in the United States with Trump and the crumbling Democratic party. These are times that 200 years from now
will be debated, like the 1920s and 30s. With the traditional left in disarray, Varoufakis says Europe needs saving
from a broken establishment on one side, and an emboldened ultra-right
led by Italy’s Matteo Salvini on the other. His solution is DiEM25. A movement that argues the only way
to restore lost faith in the European Union is to convince us that it can function
as an effective, transparent democracy. We joined Varoufakis and the DiEM team
in the run-up to the European parliamentary elections to see if it can deliver
the revolution it’s calling for. I’m supposed to be logging us on
to Skype to get to chat to him now. Oh, there is McWilliams. How is the campaign going? We can all agree as progressives that
we want a fair world. We want less inequality, that we want more green investment, that we want a better treatment of foreigners, newcomers in our countries. But then, when it comes to:
‘how do we do that?’ Where does the money come from for green investments
and the creation of good-quality jobs? So this is what we did as DiEM25. You know that,
for three years now, we’ve been asking anyone who cares
to sit around the table with us and discuss these issues. And a lot of people did. A lot of people said no. What is your personal feeling
about the election and that road ahead? If we manage to place
even just a few MEPs in the European parliament, that work as a wedge that prizes
apart this very cosy relationship between the liberal establishment
and the neo-fascists, that is what if you want,
the limit of our ambition for May 2019. OK, excellent guys. Brilliant. Thank you, David. Is that what you hope then? That will be a new left at the end of this? I do hope so because, during the second world war, communists, liberals, Winston Churchill, coalesced against the Nazis. We better coalesce
to fight the good fight. It all sounds a bit Star Wars. I loathe Star Wars. What? It’s boring. It’s too American. It’s the good guys,
cowboys and Indians. Whereas Star Trek, is scientific communism. Let me show you something. You’ll see how crazy I am,
let me get my phone. There. Look. There is no trace of my money.
How will I live? This is the 24th century,
material needs no longer exist. Communism. And what’s the challenge? So how does a fanatically democratic,
member-funded movement that is trying to agree one agenda
for the whole of Europe work? Well, it’s complicated. Because DiEM25 is a movement,
not a political party, if it wants to run anywhere in elections, it has to either create separate national parties in different countries, like MeRA25 in Greece, or partner with existing parties that have
signed up to the DiEM25 agenda. And they all sit under the broader coalition
of European Spring. DiEM is a movement,
doesn’t yet have the funding, the media presence,
the supporter base of Salvini or Macron. Do you know if, like, Salvini
is aware of your campaign? I know that he’s aware of our campaign. He’s not worried. But with the resources you have, can you take on these opponents? This question would end any political
movement before it began. If you would have said,
do we have resources to do this? No, of course you don’t. When you begin, you begin. DiEM25, officially, has no leader. It has a coordinating collective. This includes Yanis, cultural icons Brian Eno and Noam Chomsky, and Erik Edman. Erik is 26 and he spent the last
eight months driving across Greece trying to organise the movement. Which one’s us? This is us. We went with him to Salamina, a large Island close to Athens, where he was leafleting
with a group of activists. I hear you’re excellent at this. Well, yes. He said he’s not interested. If it was from Golden Dawn, maybe. Oh! You know the Golden Dawn, right? Yeah, the neo-Nazi party. Salamina is the kind of place that will either
vote for MeRa or they will vote for Golden Dawn. And I think that’s something that
us on the left are not very good at recognising. That sometimes, we are speaking to the kind of voters that might go either way, and because we also are ideological
about what we do, we cannot conceive that somebody
who might potentially be our supporter, would also consider voting for a neo-Nazi party. So we are really trying to be
the progressive alternative, the sort of more ambitious
alternative for people to vote for. Basically an anti-establishment
movement that isn’t racist? Or populist. Which is where I think the left belongs. Taxi driver? Taxi, they are good. Back in Athens, Yanis and his wife,
Danae Stratou, were also out courting voters. He didn’t know about the party. You do have a reluctance to be positioned
as the leader of the party, to be the face of the party … I mean, whenever I try to talk to you about that, it’s a bit more, ‘hang on,
no we are a movement, there’s many of us.’ But I mean, you are probably
the most recognised so far … I mean, is it a balance for you to try …? It’s excruciating, the cult of the leader. This is detrimental to democratic politics. It’s a lazy assumption that someone is going to come and save you, this is so in all walks of life. You’ll always try to find a simple … the shortcut. But there are no shortcuts in democracy. The Greek media and your former colleagues in Syriza often criticise you for being a narcissist, they said that you’re driven by ego. Why do you think it is
this is such a common criticism of you? It’s obvious, isn’t it? When you do something that you know is wrong, but you have to say it’s right,
at some point there is this clash within your soul, and either you stop doing it, or you start justifying it and then you vilify
those who have not turned as well as you have. That’s what they do. There must have been a moment,
when you resigned as minister, where you could have been free from politics for ever. When you have that kind of moral pressure, you can’t say, ‘I’m just going to go
and do my own thing … So I’ve imagined that within the next year,
it doesn’t catch on, and people say,
I’m not interested. Then I’m free. At least I will feel that
I am no longer obligated. So in the next Greek national elections, Yanis will run as MeRA25 candidate
for prime minister. He’s also DiEM25’s candidate for president
of the European commission, but rather than run as an MEP in Athens,
he’s decided instead to run in Berlin. Brexit party is at 15%. Yeah. And Ukip 14%? As May approaches you see,
Farage is going to go through the roof. Why are you standing for election
in Germany and not in Greece? Because we need to signify to Greeks, to Germans,
to the whole world that the current struggle is not
between Greeks and Germans, it is between progressive,
rational, humanist policies and authoritarianism, the two faces of
authoritarianism on the other hand. Is it not because in Germany you only need 1%
of the vote to get elected rather than in Greece where you need 4%? Not in the slightest, and proof of
that is that I’ve already declared that even if I am elected in Germany, within weeks, I shall resign
in order to fight the Greek national election. Isn’t there sort of a basic contract that you enter into with voters that when you say ‘vote for me’, you then have a duty, a democratic responsibility,
to then deliver for them rather than resigning immediately? Oh it is a social contract with voters. I don’t quite understand the symbolism of it. What I’m imploring German voters to do is to cast their vote for a party that has
somebody like me on their leading position in order to signal to the rest of Europe that a new era of transnational
progressive politics is beginning and we together as Europeans, we will symbolise and signal to the rest of Europe that
we are taking over, on behalf of the many, not the few. Thanks very much for taking the time. Thank you. Yanis Varoufakis? What was he asking? There was a guy who thought you were
a guy called Dr Walter. I was like, do you know who he is? He’s like: ‘yes, Dr Walter.’ Few people on the housing estate knew
who Yanis Varoufakis was. But in central Berlin,
a crowd was gathering to hear him speak at a pro-Europe rally. An applause to Yanis Varoufakis. I am standing in front of you, as a committed European. What we need is a green new deal for Europe that we can implement tomorrow
to create the good-quality jobs that would be invested
in the green technologies that will defeat climate disaster
tomorrow morning. Would you vote for him
after hearing him speak today? I like that he is fighting for the EU, but I am not sure about his policy in Greece. So would you vote for him? Do you think he has a chance of winning? I don’t know how much
he can connect with people here. I think he can address maybe
just a small group of people, also the elite and not so much the broader… Is that because of the language barrier? Also maybe because of his ideas,
I don’t know. While Yanis is on course to get elected in Berlin, a win isn’t guaranteed
and if his election is an assured thing, what hope do DiEM25’s lesser-known candidates have? Good morning DiEM-ers! We joined the movement one last time
for their manifesto launch in Brussels to see if the revolution was on course. Good morning DiEM-ers! 25 March, tonight’s a big event here in Brussels, the weather is suitably gloomy. Because Europe is gloomy and this is why
we need a European spring. Carpe diem. What would be the group of people
you’d represent? Are you like, going to read from a script? You need to focus. I had five minutes to prepare my speech. No, this is it. Great speech. The blonde suffragettes. OK. Let’s have some fun. No. Yes, yes, yes, yes. This idea of an anti-politics political movement, led by a reluctant outsider, called to politics for the greater good, was sounding pretty familiar. Are you not a progressive populist? Not in the slightest, because populism
is all about cultivating the anger and the fear among those who have been held behind
by the establishment. Using that anger to win government
and then turning against the people. Think Mussolini. Think Hitler. Think Salvini. So I very much dispute the very term,
the coherence of the term progressive populism. Can you actually win against those kind of forces
while also rejecting populist messaging? And populism in general? I’ve no idea. We are not in the business of predictions. We are in the business of doing
that which must be done. Have you ever shared a stage
with Pamela Anderson before? No. No, never. Are you impressed to be sharing
a stage with Pamela Anderson? No, not at all. You just care about hope? I care about lots of things, come on! So do you think you’re going to get elected? No, of course not. That was not my goal when I started. No one seems to think
they are going to get elected. What’s the point? The point is just to get our message out there. To show people that our programme exists. Do you think the message is going to land with people, do you think it’s going to resonate? I think at the moment, DiEM and European Spring, as much as I hate to admit it, it gathers a lot of intellectuals, philosophers,
all these kind of people who are really good with coming up with interesting ideas, but they’re maybe not good at addressing people. You need a simple language to address people in this day and age. I don’t think we will reach our goals and get this programme enacted in the coming few years, we won’t do it in one to three because
that would be populism in my opinion. With just a few weeks to go until the election, DiEM25 is polling under 4%
in all of the seven countries it is running. Its two big adversaries, the centre bloc Varoufakis calls the establishment and the ultra-right he calls fascists, look set to share around 70% of the total vote. Varoufakis seems to know DiEM25
can’t deliver its vision at this election. But given what he says is at stake, is a revolution inevitable? And if he’s not leading it, who will?

Maurice Vega

100 Responses

  1. Varufakis nearly destroyed Greece in 2015. He costed Greek economy about 100 billion in like 9 months and now he wants the vote of the people. Typical leftists

  2. Don't believe cult leaders believe in direct democrasy the rule of people

  3. Varoufakis agenda! He is a gambler and an egomaniac if anyone wants him in EU you can have him there take him from Greece pls

  4. for people who see a man of intellect and vision, i have to say only 1 thing. do not fall for false saviors! he's very bad at his job and he proved this by being in power in greece on the syriza party! the man was minister of economics and he managed in 6 months in power to bring 86 BILLIONS IN DEBT! IN 6 MONTHS!

  5. Είναι πραγματικά απίστευτος ο τρόπος που λειτουργούν οι πράκτορες ξένων συμφερόντων στην χώρα…Δύο αρχίδια θα φτιάξεις Βαρουφακη, το συμφέρον κυβερνάει , οι επαναστάτες στα λόγια καταλήγουν καρπαζοεισπρακτορες!

  6. Varufakis is a part of the system. The specific part that makes every effort seem ridiculous the vale of lowering the pressure of the system . or at least one of the valves

  7. NEW DEAL ? so all the welloff EU nations, have to support the poor EU nations like greece? that was what lead to greeces failing economy in the first place! Greece relied on turism and EU money, and did not develop industries , but instead made the social system intrinsic. now they suffer and the solution? ask for more funds LOL. And what does an transparent democracy entail?, does it really mean anything? it certanly doesnt say anything about politics or economics, jobs and immigration, climate or anything else, its just empty words that could mean anything or nothing so WAKE UP.

  8. the man is a narcissistic animal …he and his stupid theories costed Greece 100 billion plus ..!!

  9. When are you going to be a proper news media. You only show and tell Stuff you agree with. Any other is not covered. So you plaster Gina miller over a judicial case on Brexit but a leave case from Robin Tilbrook is stone walled. Probably because like the miller case, it will win

  10. No, definitely not. He is a pompous smartass, who had been publicly enjoying his wealth while causing suffering to all the Greek people with his incredibly stupid decisions as the minister of finance. The damage he has done has still not been repaired 4 years later. The nerve of this guy to still express opinions and ideas when he is clearly winging it to make it more money, is unbelievable.
    Sidenote: He was very persuasive before becoming a politician, as a commentator where his most common claim after any event was "I had predicted that". Greeks had to figure out the hard way, he was just lying.

  11. He already destroyed Greece. Yeah sure he can definitely save Europe… smh

  12. No he can't and in answer to SSSSSSS below, no they can't – because there is no European identity strong enough to sustain inter-national fiscal transfers. The Germans wouldn't pay for Greeks – period. And so the moment the EU parliament became sovereign, citizens of Belgium and Luxembourg would experience the tyranny of the majority (Germans)…and because there is not over-riding European identity with traction [unlike (for the moment) in the case of say Britain vis Scots /English nations – legitimating cross national transfers], there can be no exclusive club of European citizens…that functions as a unified fiscal-welfare nation. So the power will always be with the council of Ministers

  13. Hello from ??! Dear Guardian your question is as if someone’s asked “can Stalin save democracy”. Oxymoron. Google it. ?

  14. the only difference with cipras is this, he speak better english. he need seriously dr. and serious therapy

  15. Keeping the UK in will destroy the EU yet they still have the door open because they're so desperate for the UK's money. I'm just sitting back with my popcorn lol

  16. He added on our back to carry a extra 100 billion debt i in 6 months doubt he can do anything else than walk hes dog

  17. The narcissistic economist wannabe named YV costed us Greeks 100 billion euros, that's 10K per Greek citizen.

  18. Can he save Europe from the Bankers sitting on an Everest amount of OUR money rationing it out to the slaves at interest? Neaaah.

    But what is the fraudulent financial debt compared to the moral decline of Europe. Come on Yanis, be a sport, what's the solution?

    Well, for starters, doing away with "rock stars" like you along with all the glossy mouthpieces that play expert, advertising their non-existence.

    "People are not saved, they save". It starts from you my friend. It takes a lot of painful punches to knock down the walls of your prison. But boy is the view magnificent when demolished.

  19. Ετοιμάζεται πολεμικό σκηνικό με Τουρκία! Το εξηγεί πολύ αναλυτικά ο Δημήτρης Καζακης. Ψάξτε το στην κανάλι του ΕΠΑΜ!

  20. I don’t think any of his group’s affiliated parties got even a single seat in the EU parliament. Though I don’t support his project, I appreciate the political circus that he’s put on display.

  21. This is the most surreal meeting in my life: Pamela Anderson and Yanis Varoufakis, that's comic-strip worthy.

  22. Ποιος θα πληρώσει ρε Γιάννη για το green deal. Εμείς τώρα ξεκινήσαμε να έχουμε ένα δημοσιονομικό πλεόνασμα. Όπως είπες και εσύ στο ραδιόφωνο τις προάλλες αυτό που έχει σημασία είναι να πέσει στο τραπέζι μείωση φόρων σε επιχειρήσεις και να φύγει η προκαταβολή του. δεύτερο. Μείωση φορολογίας σε εργαζόμενους και άμα διατηρηθούν τα πλεονάσματα τότε ξεκινάμε τη συζήτηση για την πράσινη ανάπτυξη. Όσο αφορά τον λεγόμενο σωτήρα. Ο λεγόμενος σωτήρας έχει βιολογικές ρίζες στα ζώα και στους ανθρώπους καθώς ακόμα και στην αγέλη λύκων χρειάζονται ένα αρχηγό να τους οδηγήσει και να δείξει τον δρόμο και το βλέπουμε και στη θρησκεία. Ο λεγόμενος σωτηρας, είναι αυτός που καλύπτει την βιολογική ανάγκη μας να μας οδηγήσουν καπου. Διότι αν δεν υπάρχει αρχηγός υπάρχει χάος, αβεβαιότητα και έλλειψη στόχου στους ανθρώπους.


  24. He is riding a motorbike without a helmet and you expect this….thing to save Europe?? He cannot show respect to laws of Physics, and the civil laws, he will save Europe? Stay away of people like him !!! He charged Greece with 100 Billion more debt !! STAY AWAY !!

  25. great… now YOUTUBE giving me suggestions for shitty establishment smear pieces like this one.
    never talk about policies and technical solutions – keep yapping about electability and all this "political horse race" nonsense !

  26. Its a shame that there is still incredulity about someone running for democratic office but not expecting to win.

  27. The answer is right-wing conservatism. Diem 25 is nothing more than a left wing populist political movement with controversial agenda and a radical ideological doctrine, that simply can't be enforced in the EU, which follows free market policies. Also, remember the fact that Varoufakis is responsible for the catastrofic first quarter of the Syriza government that led to capital controls and the approval of a third lending agreement with Eurozone. Populism ( no matter if its left or right ) is a disease of our times.

  28. The Last Bluff: How Greece came face-to-face with financial catastrophe & the
    secret plan for its euro exit. (2019) English ISBN-10: 9604843729 ISBN-13: 978-9604843725

  29. Starting in 1886 with the Supreme Court decision granting personhood to corporations and the subsequent transfer of sovereignty to the Wall Street banking cartel in 1913 we have undergone one boom/bust cycle after another and one war after another, all of which greatly enriches the banksters while impoverishing the middle class. We see the pattern now. It is unmistakable. Criminal geniuses have hoodwinked the lot of us into trading our hard-earned assets for worthless scraps of fiat paper. The only way they could have gotten away with it was to control the government and stifle regulation. So they used their personhood to buy political candidates and write legislation to exempt themselves from even paying any taxes. All of which was anonymously paid for by “fictitious persons” who could not be punished in any way, and live forever.
    With the backing of the Pentagon these faceless logos carved out the greatest colonial empire ever known and have now succeeded in turning the whole world against USA for their rapacious greed.

    Now, on the eve of Armageddon, the tangled knot of corruption surrounding the Supreme Court’s misconception of a minor railroad dispute will be difficult to unravel, but do-able. Imagine the process of enacting the:

    28th Amendment:

    Corporations are not persons in any sense of the word and shall be granted only those rights and privileges that Congress deems necessary for the well-being of the People. Congress shall provide legislation defining the terms and conditions of corporate charters according to their purpose; which shall include, but are not limited to:

    1, prohibitions against any corporation;

    a, owning another corporation,

    b, becoming economically indispensable or monopolistic, or

    c, otherwise distorting the general economy;

    2, prohibitions against any form of interference in the affairs of;

    a, government,

    b, education,

    c, news media, or

    d, healthcare, and

    3, provisions for;

    a, the auditing of standardized, current, and transparent account books, and

    b, the establishment of a state and municipal banking system

    c, civil and criminal penalties to be suffered by corporate executives for violation of the terms of a corporate charter.

  30. EU has no intention of functioning as a transparent democracy, why would they? Populism isn't a far right movement, it's regular people movement sick of top down corrupt politicians and governments skewed to favor the moneyed investment class that are taking away our right to self determination.

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