Varoufakis Says Tsipras Pushed Him to Surrender to Troika

Αssociated Press

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

ATHENS - Former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, continuing to take shots at the man who brought him on board to battle with the country’s creditors, said Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras urged him to wav the white flag and give in, breaking anti-austerity campaign vows.

Varoufakis, who was forced out not long after being named finance chief in 2015 because Eurozone chiefs were tied of combatting him, told VICE Magazine that, “In the summer of 2015 Alexis Tsipras told me that I should fear a new Goudi,” Varoufakis told VICE magazine, referring to a military coup that took place in Greece in 1909 during a social uprising.

Varoufakis, who after leaving the government formed his own marginal party, DiEM25, said the alleged statement struck him as a threat aimed at forcing him to agree with Tsipras’ decision to give in to the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM).

In a SKAI TV interview previously, Varoufakis said Greece “will become Kosovo, a protectorate run by an employee of the European Union.”

In continuing a relentless barrage of mocking Tsipras, Varoufakis said earlier this month that Tsipras signed his exit card by agreeing to more harsh austerity as part of a third bailout of 86 billion euros ($94.03 billion) with the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM).

Varoufakis said the bailout deal means the end for Tsipras, just as two previous bailouts did for rival governments who lost elections after also reneging on anti-austerity promises to get into power.

According to Varoufakis, he considered the statement as a “type of threat” and pressure to accept a compromise with creditors at the time.

“I never believed it. I am waiting for a special court to convene; I will go with my evidence,” he underlined.

He also said he advised Tsipras not to hold a July 5, 2015 referendum asking Greeks to back him in defying more austerity if the Premier had already decided to surrender.

“Don’t get our people on the streets; don’t set them off for a clash over a referendum where the goal is for us to lose (in the referendum result) ... But he (Tsipras) told me that he couldn’t tell people that we had conceded,” the controversial and outspoken Varoufakis said.

Talking to SKAI TV, Varoufakis said a welfare spending and stimulus package announced by Tsipras in 2014, months before the snap January 2015 election, was “nonsense” designed to get votes from gullible Greeks.

Referring to the so-called “Thessaloniki Program,” named after the city where Tsipras unveiled it, Varoufakis said he received assurances that it would not be implemented once SYRIZA had assumed power, while if he assumed the minister’s post, he would not be bound by the pre-election pledge.

He also said his successor, Marxist economist Euclid Tsakalotos, forced into an embarrassing concession to Capitalist lenders, had “surrendered” to them and rolled over.

“Now, they (government) will pass things that my own colleagues (Parliament deputies) a few weeks ago said were unconstitutional,” Varoufakis said, referring to what he said was the certainty that SYRIZA lawmakers and their coalition partners, the pro-austerity, far-right, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) will approve the third bailout deal they allegedly philosophically oppose.