28 July 2015 — Should we all kick Varoufakis while he is down?
Today has been a bad day for Yanis Varoufakis. After the revelation of contingency planning for a parallel currency or IOUs or a Drachma precursor, almost the entirety of international and Greek media have homed in on Yanis. Is this correct and should we pursue Yani now to eliminate him politically or even indict him? There have been some private suits against him already alleging criminal offences.
It should be clear to everyone reading my blog that I am hugely disappointed in Varoufakis and I did state at the time of the Greferendum that we will probably live to see the leadership of the current government brought before a special court at some point in the future, if events led to chaotic Grexit.
Nonetheless, this smells a bit like a witch-hunt and I will tell you why. The opposition has been on Varoufakis case for a while now, and it has been hugely helped by Yanis (and his team’s) habit of branding all dissenters as ‘Internal Troika’. For all the protestations of seeking dialogue, Yanis has done a fair bit of insulting people, rather than engaging with them. Anyway, Syriza members (there have been many today, including ministerial colleagues) turning on Varoufakis too smells of opportunism.
How convenient would it be to marginalise Varoufaki and accuse him of everything, absolving Syriza in general and Tsipras in particular. Even though I do not want to see Varoufaki emerge as a leader of some new anti-austerity coalition, I do not want to see Tsipra emerge as the ‘virgin’ in this sordid affair either. It was Tsipras who went to announce the criminal Greferendum and he is ultimately responsible both for the failed ‘negotiations’ and the chaos that followed the end of the programme and the imposition of capital controls.
If we agree that Varoufakis should not (politically) survive this, we should concede that neither should Tsipras.
Also, special courts and criminal accusations never end well, for anyone. There might be things of a criminal nature Varoufakis is responsible for, predominately due to ignorance and arrogance, but his faults are political and ought to be judged as such.
Anyone old enough to remember the 1989 indictment of Andreas Papandreou to the Special Court should get what I mean.
The country did not come out of the ‘Catharsis’ judicial experiment feeling cleaner.
Let us not be distracted from the serious problems of our economy and country by engaging in another round of ‘court drama’.