ATHENS – Greece’s ruling Radical Left SYRIZA approved, through a state agency, a grant of 629,561 euros ($712,118) to help finance a film by famed director Costa-Gavras about political battles the party’s former finance chief, Yannis Varoufakis, had with the country’s creditors in 2015.
The grant, allocated by the digital policy ministry headed by Nikos Pappas, a close aide to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras – who ousted the combative Varoufakis after the lenders said they couldn’t work with him, was posted on an online platform listing all state expenditures, the business newspaper Naftermporiki said.
The movie by Costa-Gavras, the Greek-French director of the acclaimed Z, a fictional French version of the assassination of Greek leftist politician Grigoris Lambrakis, is based on Varoufakis’ book Adults in the Room, his account of how he stood up to the Eurozone and Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM) before Tsipras caved in to them to get a rescue package of 86 billion euros ($97.26 billion) to keep the country from leaving the Eurozone.
That deal, however, came after Tsipras – who had reneged on anti-austerity promises – did the same when Greeks voted in favor of a referendum he called urging them to stand with him in defying the Troika, before he surrendered to them.
That was too much for Varoufakis, who stood by his vehement anti-austerity vows, and was forced out under pressure from the Troika, and who since then has repeatedly accused Tsipras of betraying is alleged principles.
It wasn’t explained why the government would support a film that could glorify Varoufakis and hammer away again at Tsipras, but Pappas defended the grant, saying that, “We’re proud of the legislation and application of a framework to support visual-audio producers who choose Greece for their film shoots.”
He said 49 foreign and domestic productions have shown interest in filming in Greece, and 38 approved, with a budget of 32 million euros ($36.19 million,) adding that sharp reaction to the grant for the Varoufakis film came from political rivals he said want to distract attention from scandals, which are unproved.
Adults in the Room, shows events leading up to the summer of 2015, when the Tsipras government – wit Varoufakis the self-called “erratic Marxist” – clashing with the lenders, the referendum that say SYRIZA supporters dancing in the streets before being betrayed, capital controls, the closing of banks for three weeks, and then Tsipras’ surrender.
According to reports, Gavras is shooting in Athens, Brussels, Riga, Frankfurt and London. Christos Loulis is playing Varoufakis and Alexandros Bourdoumis has been cast to play Tsipras, while others chosen for key roles include Valeria Golino to play Varoufakis’ wife, Danae;and Ulrich Tukur portraying hard-line German then-Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble.