VAROUFAKIS: Brexit means that the 'EU's disintegration is now running at full speed'

Photo: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images,

Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister and outspoken political activist, believes that the historic vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union is a harbinger of the end of the EU.

Writing in a post Friday on the blog OpenDemocracy, Varoufakis said that while he is sceptical of the EU’s current structure, the decision by Britain to exit the group was a mistake.

“OUT won because the EU establishment have made it impossible, through their anti-democratic reign (not to mention the asphyxiation of weaker countries like Greece), for the people of Britain to imagine a democratic EU,” Varoufakis wrote. “Our radical IN campaign was thus defeated.”

Varoufakis had been campaigning for the Remain camp for some time, arguing that change should come from inside the EU rather than leaving it altogether. However, Varoufakis has been critical of the EU’s leadership and believes their inability to allow for the “voices of democrats” lead to the decision by British voters.

Varoufakis is best known for his clash with the EU establishment during the Greek credit crisis in 2015, but he has been an advocate for European cooperation. One of his efforts toward that goal was forming the group DiEM25. Its goals are to reform the EU and have a pan-European parliament established by 2025.

“The EU’s disintegration is now running at full speed,” he wrote. “The DiEM25 campaign of building bridges across Europe, bringing democrats together across borders and political parties, is what Europe needs more than ever to avoid a slide into a xenophobic, deflationary, 1930s-like abyss.”

Clearly, the Brexit appears to be a setback for such goals, but Varoufakis said he is not discouraged.

“DiEM25 regrets that the British people chose to leave the EU,” he wrote. “But at the same time, DiEM25 welcomes the British people’s determination to tackle the diminution of democratic sovereignty caused by the gross de-politicization of political decisions and the consequent democratic deficit in the EU.”

Varoufakis also took the chance to criticise what he called the “business-as-usual” ideas of politicians that have contributed to the “loss of EU’s legitimacy, integrity and soul.”

Read the full op-ed at OpenDemocracy »

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