Yanis Varoufakis Slams EU: “The Italian finance minister, throughout the night, was bullied to concede — as I had been in 2015.”


Yanis Varoufakis, a veteran of the 2015 Greek debt crisis, accused Eurozone finance ministers of “failing Europeans” following a 15-hour row on a post-coronavirus rescue package ended in stalemate. The rebel economist said he was the victim of comparable bullying at the height of Greece’s fiscal meltdown when his rebellious strategy against debt negotiations with European leaders led to banks being closed and queues at cash machines. “The Eurogroup, again, failed Europeans,” he wrote on social media, following their overnight assembly finally awakened.

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“The Italian finance minister, throughout the night, was bullied to concede — as I had been in 2015. It was done behind closed doors with no minutes kept.”

Italy and the Netherlands are encouraged to shed their red lines to allow the bloc to finally forge a common reaction coronavirus crisis.

One Brussels source said the air between member states had become “very toxic” because of the difference in positions between richer northern member nations and their poorer southern neighbours.

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis talks with MPs during a debate at the Greek Parliament in Athens, June 2015. © Alexandros Vlachos / EPA

They included: “It’s a matter of perspective and principle, and that is never great for compromise”

There is a developing fear amongst the group that Italy, Spain and France’s response to the global pandemic could see their savings sunk by the debt costs later on.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said: “Nothing could be worse for Europe than for several nations, because they’re wealthier, to get off to a fast start, while others, since they cannot afford it, begin gradually.

“We all need to recuperate at the same speed so as to guarantee the cohesion, solidarity and unity of the eurozone and our common currency.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire

Whereas the Netherlands would like to ensure any combine debt is issued with a series of preconditions, including EU investigations into government balances or previous commitments to spending cuts and structural reforms.

Eurozone finance ministers will hold discussions once more on Thursday prior to making suggestions to EU leaders on new rescue package plans.

Italian Prime Minister holding back the tears.

Dutch finance ministry Wopke Hoekstra announced it “too early to agree an entire package”, insisting the Netherlands remains determined that any joint debt mechanism proposals to help recovery must be scrapped.

He explained: “We think this will make more problems than answers for the EU.

“We would need to ensure debts of other nations, which isn’t reasonable.

“The majority of the Eurogroup shares this opinion and does not encourage Eurobonds.”

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