Yanis Varoufakis sues the German state

In 2024, Europe Day is marked by the violation of the fundamental rights of European citizens. In the interests of Germans and everyone else who cherishes political freedom, the German state’s slide towards lawlessness and totalitarianism must be checked

It’s time to tell Germany: Stop censoring voices for Palestine!

The unprecedented decision of the German authorities in April earlier this year to ban Yanis Varoufakis from entering the country, as well as from any kind of political activity, was only the beginning. It was followed by outrageous violations of every principle of the Rule of Law – an ominous development in the face of a Europe that is sliding inexorably towards totalitarianism.

After promising Varoufakis’ lawyer that they would answer in writing to three reasonable questions (Which authority issued the ban? When? On what grounds?), the German authorities finally replied that they would not in fact reply, citing “national security” and because any written reply would undermine the “proper performance of the duties of the Federal Police and other security services involved in the case”. 

In other words, the authoritarian practices of Viktor Orban and Kyriakos Mitsotakis are being adopted freely in the bastions of liberal democracy whose authorities now feel free to not only violate basic freedoms but to sidestep the right of citizens to know who decided to ban them, when, and under what rationale – and all that in a European Union which was supposed to guarantee the political rights and freedom of movement of every citizen of its member states.

In view of this clear violation of German and European law, and after consultations with MERA25 Germany and its legal team, Varoufakis is taking the German authorities to court for violation of his basic rights and defamation, indicating his intention to appeal, if need be, to the European courts.

The documents submitted to Germany’s courts remind the judges that Varoufakis was scheduled to speak on April 12 at the Palestine Congress – an event organised by Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East, MERA25 and other organisations – as a forum to discuss what needed to be done to ensure equal political rights for everyone between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Unable to bear the fact that MERA25 co-organised the conference on Palestine with Jewish activists, which rendered ridiculous the accusation of anti-Semitism, the German authorities violently broke up the Congress and imposed a wholesale ban on Varoufakis.

In invoking “national security” to justify their slide towards totalitarianism, and with a view to fully support Israel‘s ‘right’ to commit war crimes against the Palestinian people undisturbed by criticism or protest, the German authorities have, in essence, abolished both the German Rule of Law and the most important principle of the EU – the citizens’ freedom of movement and the right to engage in political activity in every corner of the EU. 

We at DiEM25 call on every citizen, European or non-European, to stand up against the arbitrary, totalitarian and brutal invocation of “national security” to abolish basic political rights that the peoples of Europe fought for centuries to establish. After all, in today’s Germany and the rest of Europe, nothing threatens citizens’ security more than the loss of our basic rights.

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