Government on defensive after Plan B revelations
Revelations by American economist James Galbraith about a Plan B for Greece drafted by former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on Tuesday fueled a political storm, with New Democracy securing approval from Parliament for a discussion on setting up a House investigative committee into last year’s negotiations with creditors and the imposition of capital controls.
In his book “Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice: The Destruction of Greece and the Future of Europe,” Galbraith reveals that Varoufakis’s plan foresaw a state of emergency, the nationalization of the Bank of Greece, the transformation of bank deposits into a New Drachma and emergency public order measures.
Commenting, ND spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said Galbraith’s revelations made ND’s longstanding demand for an investigation even more pressing. “This dark period must be fully illuminated,” he said. “The future of the country and of the Greek people was gambled.”
Responding to the request, Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis said a discussion would be held at the end of July.
In separate interviews with state television ERT, State Minister Nikos Pappas and Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias defended the government’s record, including its decision to hold a referendum on austerity last summer.
Pappas spoke of “pressures” from eurozone finance ministers last year and said Varoufakis had proposed the continuation of the previous bailout program of former prime minister Antonis Samaras.
“That would have been a painful choice which we fortunately avoided, achieving an extension of the agreement,” Pappas said.
Noting that, “at some point, everything must be said,” Kotzias said Varoufakis had pressed for a quick deal, “warning that that the ATMs were at risk of closing.”
“He said he would take responsibility for the February agreement, which was much worse than the outcome of the second negotiation,” he added.
In comments to Kathimerini, Varoufakis said the government was “confused.” “It can’t be that the different sides of the same status quo accuse me of being a destructive force on the one hand and a supporter of memorandums on the other,” he said.
As for Pappas’s claim that he wanted to continue Samaras’s agreement, Varoufakis said, “Nothing had been agreed by the Samaras government to continue.”