Varoufakis Says Parallel Currency Proposed to SYRIZA, Tsipras in 2013

FILE - Greece's former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – Continuing to snipe at Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said the Premier knew of a parallel currency plan as an alternative to bailouts in 2013, two years before the Radical Left SYRIZA leader was elected.

Varoufakis, forced out by Tsipras after the country’s international creditors refused to work with the finance chief during a stormy and brief tenure in 2015 when the government tried to wiggle out of the bailouts, has been assailing his former boss since.

Varoufakis drew up the idea of a parallel currency with Greece still using the euro even though critics said it would create economic chaos and force the country out of the Eurozone.

Varoufakis said he unveiled his “IOU” framework in the presence of today’s Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos – who succeeded him – current Deputy PM Yannis Dragasakis and Economy & Development Minister Giorgos Stathakis as well as Tsipras, who disavowed the idea after Varoufakis was ousted.

Varoufakis has increasingly criticized his former colleagues in the current coalition government in recent months, including in published books.

Speaking to SKAI TV,  Varoufakis said the first presentation was held at SYRIZA’s party offices in 2013, followed by a meeting at Tsipras’ apartment in November 2014 – less than three months after a failed bid to elect a figurehead President of the republic by the Greek :Parliament sniggered a snap election, which leftist SYRIZA easily won.

Varoufakis said at the second meeting he was offered the job of FInance Minister and asked to submit his proposal in writing and turned in a 10-page assessment with specifications.

Varoufakis earlier said he’s not opposed to a probe of his brief tenure in 2015 to look into claims he had prepared a voucher scheme and parallel currency in case Greece was forced out of the Eurozone.

That didn’t happen as Tsipras, reneging on the results of an anti-austerity referendum he called – Greeks backed him but he rejected them – agreed to capital controls and a third bailout he said he would never seek nor accept.

Speaking to 989 FM radio then, Varoufakis said the investigation could be in the form of a special court, a committee or a military court so that “papers can placed on the table.”

The major rival New Democracy called for a parliamentary investigation following a report in Kathimerini with additional details about Varoufakis’s plans for a parallel currency as elucidated by his ex-adviser Glenn Kim.

Varoufakis defended the plan, insisting it was an alternative in case negotiations with the country’s creditors broke down.

The question notes a post made by Varoufakis on his personal website and references to a parallel payments system that is says was prepared by the first SYRIZA-ANEL government, citing sections of the former finance minister’s book Adults in the Room.

“Mr. Varoufakis refers to pages of his book…where he claims that Mr. Tsipras knew of the parallel payments plan and that (Varoufakis) had given a presentation himself at the house in Kypseli in November 2014, in the presence of (Deputy Premier) Yiannis Dragasakis and (Minister of State) Nikos Pappas,” according to ND MPs, the Athens News Agency said.