NEWS

Varoufakis lashes out at SYRIZA ‘comrades’

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MeRA25 chief Yanis Varoufakis accused the former SYRIZA administration of imposing Greece's “harshest memorandum,” saying that any members of the now-opposition party who take to the streets in protest at the new government would be “comical.”

Speaking on Skai television the day after a chilly encounter with SYRIZA chief Alexis Tsipras during an event marking the 45th anniversary since the restoration of democracy in Greece on Wednesday night, the former finance minister accused the ex-premier of backing out of their agreed plan to challenge the country's international creditors for more lenient bailout terms.

He said his three greatest mistakes as finance minister in the first half of 2015 were not taking a tougher stance against the troika of creditors, trusting Alexis Tsipras and not being more forthcoming to the Greek people with regard to what a rift with lenders would entail.

Asked whether he would support SYRIZA in opposing current government policy, Varoufakis suggested that any attempt by the leftist opposition to organize street protests would be laughable.

“What will they ask for exactly? To bring back the EKAS benefit they abolished? To return the airports and ports they gave away? Who would even follow them out into the streets? Maybe they'll gather five or 10 people who would probably be a bit comical,” Varoufakis said.

In the four years that “the SYRIZA comrades” were in power, he added, “they implemented the harshest memorandum in way that was even praised by [former German finance minister Wolfgang] Schaeuble and that no one else would have gotten away with passing in such a bloodless manner.”

Asked to assess the new center-right government, Varoufakis said that it is “trapped in a prison of debt and bailout populism,” adding that he believes Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will not honor his promises and will defy voters' expectations, not because he wants to but because creditors will force him to.