You couldn’t make this shit up

June 21, 2015

After last Thursday’s eurogroup meeting of Finance Ministers failed, again, to reach an agreement on Greece, lots of stories circulated in the press about what had happened in the meeting. Some of the stories, obviously based on off the record briefings from those who were trying to pressure Greece into more ‘reforms’ (EU jargon for budget cuts) said that the Greeks had not tabled any concrete proposals. Later Michael Noonan the Irish finance minister complained that the finance ministers had not been made privy to the institutions proposal to the Greek government government before being asked to participate in the discussion.

Now Yanis Varoufakis has published an article in the Irish Times explaining the frankly bonkers stuff that went on. He explains that he was not allowed to share with Mr Noonan, or indeed with any other finance minister, the Greek written proposals. Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister, confirmed that it was ruled that any written submission to a finance minister by either Greece or the institutions was “unacceptable”, as he would then need to table it at the Bundestag, thus negating its utility as a negotiating bid.

As Varoufakis writes:

“The euro zone moves in a mysterious way. Momentous decisions are rubber- stamped by finance ministers who remain in the dark on the details, while unelected officials of mighty institutions are locked into one-sided negotiations with a solitary government-in-distress.

It is as if Europe has determined that elected finance ministers are not up to the task of mastering the technical details; a task best left to “experts” representing not voters but the institutions. One can only wonder to what extent such an arrangement is efficient, let alone remotely democratic.”

You can read the full Irish Times article by Varoufakis here.

Previous post:

Next post: