Greece voted “No” in its historic referendum on whether to accept the latest bailout terms from its European creditors.
And now Greece finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has taken to his personal blog to give his thoughts on the outcome.
In a post that went up early Monday morning in Greece, Varoufakis writes, “Today’s referendum delivered a resounding call for a mutually beneficial agreement between Greece and our European partners.”
Our NO is a majestic, big YES to a democratic Europe.
It is a NO to the dystopic vision of a Eurozone that functions like an iron cage for its peoples.
It is a loud YES to the vision of a Eurozone offering the prospect of social justice with shared prosperity for all Europeans.
In his post, Varoufakis, who became finance minister when Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and the left-wing, anti-bailout Syriza party were voted into power on January 25th, walks through his view on Greece’s negotiations with its creditors over the last 5+ months.
Varoufakis writes that, “Ending interminable, self-defeating, austerity and restructuring Greece’s public debt were our two targets.”
He continues, “But these two were also our creditors’ targets. From the moment our election seemed likely, last December, the powers-that-be started a bank run and planned, eventually, to shut Greece’s banks down. Their purpose?
- To humiliate our government by forcing us to succumb to stringent austerity, and
- To drag us into an agreement that offers no firm commitment to a sensible, well-defined debt restructure.”
And so in the end, with Greece voting against accepting the latest bailout terms — which weren’t officially on the table when this vote took place, making the referendum more of an opinion poll than a vote on a formal policy proposal — Varoufakis, like Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, sees this vote as a win not just for Greece but for democracy in Europe.