ATHENS – Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, ousted after the country’s lenders said they couldn’t work with his aggressive anti-austerity stance, said he will create a political party and take on the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA.
Varoufakis, who has spent much of the last couple of years sniping at Premier Alexis Tsipras for reneging on anti-austerity promises and seeking a third bailout from the country’s creditors, this one for 86 billion euros ($107.35 billion) said his grouping will be called the DiEM 25 initiative.
He said it would be launched on March 26, a day after the country’s Independence Day anniversary and celebrations that has seen governments try to keep away spectators in fear of more anti-austerity protests.
In a tweet, Varoufakis wrote of SYRIZA’s victory in 2015 and how he said Greeks were cast aside by Tsipras so that the Premier could stay in power at any cost.
“Three years ago today the Greeks decided to rage against the dying of the light. They were betrayed. But never defeated. In two months (26/3) a new DiEM25 affiliated Greek party will come into being. There is no such thing as a final defeat, just as there is no final victory,” it said.
Once the economic darling of SYRIZA for his combative stance against the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM) that is putting up the rescue package, he has turned sour on the Leftists.
Earlier, Varoufakis said austerity measures in return for bailout loans helped only the banks and creditors who gave them, but decimated the people affected by them: workers, pensioners and the poor.
Timing regular interviews to coincide with his book Adults in the Room, about his battle with Greece’s international lenders and SYRIZA, he said big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and worker firings created hopelessness among Greeks.
“They had to couch their actions in false narratives and cover up previous crimes with new crimes,” he said. “They became prisoners of their own devices, trapped in a cage they had all built.”
Other dissidents who left SYRIZA and former their own parties found there was no interest or public support in them despite their own fury against SYRIZA and similar shouts that Tsipras was a traitor to their cause.