ATHENS – Former finance chief Yanis Varoufakis, who has been a thorn in the side of the Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras he said betrayed his alleged principles, wants the public to help fund his new Democracy in Europe Movement 2025.
He turned to Crowdfunding to raise money for the new party, referred to as DiEM25 and take on SYRIZA in the next elections scheduled for 2019, as he continues to snipe at Tsipras for surrendering to international lenders in return for a third bailout, this one for 86 billion euros ($105.53 billion) the Premier said he would never seek nor accept but did both even though it came with more crushing austerity measures he vowed to reject.
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet as a form of alternative financing of causes and projects.
“The time has come to found the Greek DiEM25 affiliate that will return the spirit of the Greek Spring to the country that gave birth to it,” DiEM25 said in a message posted on its website.
“Despite what the Establishment says, there is an alternative to Greece’s – and Europe’s – current impasse,” it said, while a video urged people to “support constructive disobedience in Greece.”
New political parties in Greece, including two formed by dissidents from SYRIZA who broke off from Tsipras after similarly mocking him have failed to register in polls or garner enough support to pass the 3 percent of vote threshold needed to get into Parliament.
DiEM25 is scheduled to 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 in January when he talked of his new party, 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 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.
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.”