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Politics

Varoufakis Takes His Faltering MeRA25 Party’s Push to Italy

ATHENS – His leftest MeRA25 party got only 3.44 percent of the vote in 2019 elections and has since seen three of its nine lawmakers leave, but leader Yanis Varoufakis has now opened an offshoot in Italy as he tries to persuade people to support his rebellious movement which has had trouble gaining traction.

“If ever there was a moment it is now,” the economist told POLITICO in an interview to mark the Italian launch of his pan-European political party, which ironically was at a sumptuous setting at the former Roman Aquarium.

He had plenty of celebrity support from believers, which have included jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, film-maker Ken Loach, philosopher Noam Chomsky and Pamela Anderson of Baywatch fame, the site noted.

It said he he loves his his star-studded connections. “I just received (Eno’s) latest album with a dedication for me,” he said about a British musician.

He has an uphill struggle in Italy which returned a far-right Brothers of Itly led government under new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, an ideological enemy of his what the site said was his self-styled “erratic Marxist” beliefs.

He said she won’t be able to keep her promises and will make such compromises that she, too will join a long line of previous Italian leaders who fall by the wayside and this his movement is waiting to fill a vacuum.

He said that would, “create space for a transnational progressive party offering something completely different,” in the heart of Europe although his party is politically irrelevant in his own country.

“The debt crisis, banking crisis, climate crisis, geopolitical, energy, war, health,” Varoufakis said. “None of this can be sorted out at national state level,” he added, but almost no one is listening to him anymore.

MeRAa25’s policies, decided by its 150,000 members in a Europe-wide ballot, include a Federal European Union republic and replacing energy markets with a common green grid, the site noted.

He also wants NATO dismantled, saying it “has no business existing. It is an affront to the idea of the European Union to designate our security to a foreign power with antithetical interests to our own.”

He said the EU should have its own military instead, responsible for its own defense, adding that unless NATO is abandoned that, “We will be completely subservient to the interests of the U.S.”

He said his party hasn’t been able to gain momentum because the Left is fragmented instead of united, not explaining how that would be overcome in Italy as it didn’t in Greece.

MeRA25 almost got into the European Parliament with seats in Germany but he said he’s happy to be in the Greek Parliament with six seats in a 300-member body where he is essentially ignored.

“By no means are we successful but we have to start somewhere … We are not trying so much to maximize votes but to start a conversation. … we want to demonstrate what transnational politics looks like,” he told the site.

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