Greece: The bailout (this is a coup) and Varoufakis’s refusal to play by the rules.


Yeah, I’m up early today. This one just came over the wire.

Greece bailout agreement: the key points (The Guardian)

However, it has been pleasing to note the widespread recognition that these past few weeks have been not unlike a war between international bankers and Greek politicians, with the “collateral” damage being suffered by ordinary Greeks with no dog in the fight.

#ThisIsACoup: Germany faces backlash over tough Greece bailout demands (The Guardian)

The draconian list of demands eurozone leaders handed to the Greek government in return for a European bailout has inspired a social media backlash against Germany and its hawkish finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble.

ž#ThisIsACoup was the second top trending hashtag on Twitter worldwide – and top in Germany and Greece – as eurozone leaders argued through the night to convince the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, to take the deal or face bankruptcy and his country’s expulsion from the euro.

The former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis departed the scene following last weekend’s referendum, but to me, the following points remain significant, especially this one:

“Thinking of himself as a representative of the Greek people, he made his wishes public.”

Transparency. Imagine that.

The Man Who Refused to Play by the Rules: the Real Sins of Varoufakis, by Chris Bickerton (Counterpunch)

… The negotiations didn’t break down because of an unbridgeable gap between the North and South; creditors and debtors; the German ‘Ordoliberalism’ of Schäuble and Djisselbloem and Greek-style Marxism of Varoufakis and Tsipras. This gap has never existed. They broke down because Varoufakis repeatedly breached the Eurogroup’s etiquette. In doing so, he challenged the very foundations of the eurozone’s mode of governance …

(the non-democratic Europgroup “rules” are recapped)

… The hostility towards Varoufakis stems from his breaking of all of these rules. He refused to play the Eurogroup game. It’s not really about riding a motorbike, wearing combat trousers and being a celebrity academic-blogger — though his charisma and popularity probably created jealousies amongst the other (colourless and tie-wearing) politicians.

At the heart of the matter is how Varoufakis presented his demands. Thinking of himself as a representative of the Greek people, he made his wishes public, and when in the Eurogroup, he maintained the same stance — changes in views could not be informally agreed around a table but had to be taken back to Athens and argued for, in cabinet and with the Syriza party.