ATHENS – Once allies before both were ousted by the then-ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, former Parliament speaker Zoe Konstantopoulou said a film about former finance chief Yanis Varoufakis – based on his best-selling book – was a propaganda puff piece.
The movie Adults in the Room, the same title as the book, was directed by acclaimed French-Greek director Costa-Gavras of Z fame, glamorizes the former finance minister, she said, at the cost of not telling all that happened when he tangled in the summer of 2015 with European officials who got then-Premier Alexis Tsipras to renege on anti-austerity promises.
Critics of Varoufakis and the film lined up to slam what they called a one-sided portrayal of his combative antics with the European Union’s top negotiators who tried to grind him down – he didn’t relent, but Tsipras did.
Varoufakis served little more than six months after Tsipras won the January, 2015 elections and quickly went back on his word to fight the creditors, bending to pressure to get rid of the pugnacious finance chief who has since repeatedly accused the former premier of betraying alleged leftist principles.
Konstantopoulou – who also turned on Tsipras after he caved to the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM) in return for a third bailout for Greece, for 86 billion euros ($95.47 billion) – said the movie was a gloryfest.
She said it “completely espouses the version and narrative … of one person (Varoufakis), who played a decisive role in that period … who behaved irresponsibly in negotiations; considered them (negotiations) as a personal issue, thus following a personal strategy and tactics.”
She also charged that Varoufakis systematically wrote a scenario aimed at promoting his “self-heroism, instead of defending the country’s interests, while continuing to avoid giving “serious explanations for many incidents and his actions.”
Costa-Gavras, from a Greek Communist family, has built a career on films, mostly in French, that merge politics with entertainment values.