Yanis Varoufakis' speech at the DiEM25 members meeting in Aegina (August 2016)

Good evening,
The reason we are here is simple:
Greece is suffocating in a Europe that is disintegrating.
And Greece will continue to suffocate as long as Europe is disintegrating.
And Europe will continue to disintegrate as long as countries like Greece are being suffocated.
Behind this spiral of Suffocation and Disintegration there lies a stupendous consensus between disparate political forces: Dr Schäuble, Chancellor Merkel, President Hollande, but also the latest incarnation of the Greek government, comrades from Popular Unity (like its leader Panayiotis Lafazanis and my good colleague Costas Lapavitsas), Jean Luc Melenchon (the French Left’s presidential candidate in 2012), Oskar Lafontaine (the admirable former German finance minister who left his party to co-found Die Linke) – they are all aligned with a consensus reflecting Euro-TINA; the dogma that, within the Eurozone and the EU, there can be no alternative to the policies that suffocate Greece and disintegrate Europe.
In January 2015, the Greek people gave us a mandate to demand such an alternative. To demonstrate that Greece can overturn the policies of Suffocation and Disintegration within the euro and the EU as long as we were determined to say NO till the end to the EU’s established policies – as long as we did not allow ourselves to be terrorised by the threat of eviction from the euro.
The Troika (including their local stooges), using its standard method of fiscal waterboarding (augmented by an enhanced threat of imposed Grexit), divided us and, thus, defeated the Athens Spring. The result? Greece’s suffocation and Europe’s disintegration intensified. (Brexit and Greece’s deepened recession were mere symptoms…)
However, the spirit of that Spring survived. From Athens it spread like a bushfire to Berlin, Barcelona, Paris, Dublin, Helsinki, London, Lisbon – to every corner of Europe. It took the form of the Democracy in Europe Movement – of DiEM25.
They tell us that, if Europeans dare ever again to question the Euro-TINA dogma, which underpins the Suffocation- Disintegration spiral, they will asphyxiate their representatives again exactly like they asphyxiated the Greek government in 2015 – in Madrid, in Rome, wherever their dogma is questioned. Our answer to them: Bring it on! Nothing scares us more than the Suffocation- Disintegration spiral, their sole offering.
Thank you for being here tonight. It is as if, together, we confirm that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

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