Varoufakis on Merkel: What he said and how Bild distorted it

Yesterday, German tabloid Bild published an interview with DiEM25 co-founder Yanis Varoufakis on the topic of the Greek debt crisis and Angela Merkel’s legacy.

In typical fashion, Bild reproduced the usual lies and smears regarding Varoufakis’ time as Minister of Finance in Greece in 2015, and had a few choice words in describing him personally.

Varoufakis – and all of us at DiEM25 – wear these with pride, coming from a publication that is notoriously deceitful, racist, sexist, sensationalist and, as recently revealed by The New York Times, run in a sexual harassment-riddled culture.

Since Varoufakis’ answers were heavily edited, we have decided to provide them in full below.

BILD: Will we ever get our money back?

Yanis Varoufakis: If you are one of the German or Greek oligarchs who benefitted immensely from the Greek state’s bailout, you have already received gargantuan returns – and you will receive even more in the future. Alas, if you a German or a Greek worker or middleclass person, you will be paying, and paying and paying…

BILD: In 2015 you told us that it was stupid to throw all these billions to a black hole. Do you think the same today?

Yanis Varoufakis: In 2015, Greece’s national income was at €175 billion while its state’s debt was at €309 billion. What I told you then was that the new bailout loan would fall into the black hole of Greece’s deepening bankruptcy. As we speak, Greece’s national income is struggling to reach €168 billion (even after a good tourist season) while our state’s debt is approaching €400 billion. I fear I was right.

BILD: Your last words to Merkel and Schäuble. Mrs Merkel, Mr Schäuble, to paraphrase Tacitus, you succeeded in turning Greece into a Desert and then you called it Peace. In conclusion, who was right? Her or him?

Yanis Varoufakis: Merkel wasted her enormous political capital to maintain ‘business as usual’ for as long as she was Chancellor, leaving a mess behind for her successors. Schäuble followed a good instinct when he advocated a drastic change (Grexit) but had no plan either for forcing it or for what would come after. In short, they were both wrong, each in a different way.

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