“Friends, I am not here today to drum up support for Greece’s crushed democracy.- Yanis Varoufakis, speech at Frangy-en-Bresse, France, August 23, 2015
I am here to lend the Greek people’s support and solidarity to France’s democracy. For this is what is at stake. French democracy. Spanish democracy. Italian democracy. Democracy throughout Europe. Greece was and unfortunately remains a laboratory where the destructive power of self-defeating austerity was tried and tested. Greece was never the issue for the Troika and its minions. You are!
It is not true that our creditors are interested in getting their money back from the Greek state. Or that they want to see Greece reformed. If they were, they would have discussed seriously our proposals for restructuring Greece’s public debt in a manner ensuring that they get most of it back. But they could not care less. They instead insisted on our surrender. It was the only thing they cared about. They cared uniquely about one thing: To confirm Dr Schäuble’s dictum that elections cannot be allowed to change anything in Europe. That democracy ends where insolvency begins. That proud nations facing debt issues must be condemned to a debt prison within which it is impossible to produce the wealth necessary to repay their debts and get out of jail. And so it is that Europe is turning from our common home to our shared iron cage.”