Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Yanis Varoufakis- the pariah

No, no, this isn’t about the Greece crisis of 2015 which started in 2010 after austerity measures were put in place. This also isn’t about whether Greece or Germany is right. This is about Yanis Varoufakis. An academic who never practiced what he preached (not saying in a condescending manner, it is just that academics are not judged based on the result of actual policies). He was ‘selected’ as Finance Minister by a leftist-government to oversee a crisis which has no precedence. An economic union which has no precedence. An economic union on the verge of losing one of its members due to default in debt payment. A crisis caused by excesses of capitalism.

He is a political novice. And he is negotiating with the Germany, the strongest economy in Europe. Germany who have been its creditors. His naivety turned to be his strength. He did not have any baggage to carry. He had a free-mind and he came out with solutions. In spite of being from a leftist party, he was open to privatisation. In one of his interviews he said they wanted privatisation but that doesn’t mean to sell assets at fire-sale prices. Rather to bring in know-how to bring the economy back on its foot. He was stubborn on his thinking that the crisis was not all Greece’s fault. He wanted time and respectful help to revive the economy.

Normally, any person would have acceded to the demands made by the creditors. This is where socialism, despite its negatives, is better than capitalism. When they saw that its policy is going in unchartered territory, they went back to the people with a referendum. Being a democratic country having an elected parliament, they did not have to go for this. They had the right to take a decision. Yet, they went back to the people. They realised that the people had enough of austerity and depended too much on others. They wanted their respect back. And if it means being alone, so be it. Once the referendum vindicated Yanis Varoufakis’ of a ‘No’ vote, he swallowed his pride and stepped aside so that a solution could be found out. The hatred he faced from the creditors shouldn’t have acted as an hindrance for a deal between Greece and Europe. He will accept accusations of being obdurate. He resigned and paved the way for a new deal with Greece on a moral higher ground after the ‘No’ vote. If we have more men as Yanis Varoufakis in politics, the world will be a much economically stable place.