‘Vote No, stay in euro’: Varoufakis gives 6 reasons why Greece should scramble bailout
Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis promises to keep Greece in the euro and avoid a banking collapse if Athens votes against the rescue package proposed by the Eurozone. EU leaders say a No vote may force Greece out of the currency.
The leftist academic-turned-politician argues Greece’s 1.6 billion euro debt is “unpayable” in the eyes of both those inside and outside Greece.
“The Eurogroup had previously (November 2012) conceded that the debt ought to be restructured but is refusing to commit to a debt restructure,” he writes in Reason 3.
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“Greece will stay in the euro. Deposits in Greece’s banks are safe. Creditors have chosen the strategy of blackmail based on bank closures. The current impasse is due to this choice by the creditors and not by the Greek government discontinuing the negotiations or any Greek thoughts of Grexit and devaluation. Greece’s place in the Eurozone and in the European Union is non-negotiable,” Varoufakis wrote on his personal blog posted Wednesday.
The message comes in stark contrast to the words the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who said a No vote would be a “disaster” and a “No to Europe,” and the Dutch politician Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads the group of Eurozone ministers, who claimed it put Europe and Greece “in a very difficult situations.”
READ MORE: Varoufakis threatens EU with court as Greek default looms
In fact, after missing a 1.6 billion debt repayment earlier this week, the country’s banks have already had their access to international funding restricted. With 8 billion taken out in less than a week, the banks have restricted withdrawals to 60 euros per day.
The International Monetary Fund, one of the country’s biggest creditors, has said that Athens will need an extra 50 billion in fresh money to add, to the 240 billion it already owes, to survive through October 2018. For Varoufakis, these statements are a confirmation that even the negotiators themselves don’t believe in the current austerity deals, which have been negotiated.
“Since the announcement of the referendum, official Europe has sent signals that they are ready to discuss debt restructuring. These signals show that official Europe too would vote NO on its own ‘final’ offer,” wrote Varoufakis, who has promised to resign if there is a Yes vote.
In his conclusion, the finance minister insists that a “proud Greece” should vote no, and instead carry on re-negotiating “public debt as well as the distribution of burdens between the haves and the have nots.”
Latest local polls show the largest segment of voters, about 47 percent, supporting the bailout in exchange for an austerity bill. The number of anti-bailout voters has dropped sharply since the banking restrictions have brought in a visceral illustration of life in a bankrupt Greece.