Why Shäuble Should Have Been Varoufakis ‘s Best Ally

The German Finance Minister should have been the Greeks best ally of negotatiring a dignified Grexit.

July 13, 2015

Yanis Varoufakis, the highly intelligent and intellectual former Greek Finance Minister, in an interview a couple of days ago says this:

Essentially he was talking Economics but getting no response. 

What Varoufakis Clearly Missed

As is clear from not just what Varoufakis said but the past 72 hours, the discussions were about Politics not Economics. 

It is not that Varoufakis brought a knife to a gunfight: he bought a calculator.  It’s like he was trying to convince the participants that gunfights were useless and instead talking about the physics of  trajectories of bullet and statistics of efficacy of these shoot-outs. 

To bolster his case, he tried to make appeals to the concept of Europe.  In essence he was arguing 

Let’s change all the geo-political rules of the EU to come to a rational way forward and ensure we live up to the ideals of Europe

In other words, Varoufakis, the man who relies on data and facts, was getting all religious.

It was like as a kid talking about the physics behind Santa Claus’s sleigh rides with utmost gravity in front of adults.

No wonder he got blank stares.

What Varoufakis Should Have Done

Varoufakis should have used all his remarkable powers of reasoning to come to the following – fairly obvious now – conclusion. 

There were only TWO true choices:

(A) Full Colonization: Either Greece accepts austerity, privatization and a full center-right German led agenda with no real sovereignty, in other words a debt colony forever working to payoff their masters, selling Greece piece-by-piece until the inevitable debt write downs (when those who profit by these are long disappeared)


(B) Grexit: Negotitate a Grexit out of the corrupt edifice of the Eurozone, making the reforms that Greece needs but in a fully sovereign way.

Shäuble Could Have Helped with Grexit

To his credit, Varoufakis as he notes, did consider Grexit.   

But he asks how could 4-5 people working in the dark figure it out?

Ironically the much vilified Shäuble could have helped.  In essence he was asking Greece to choose between A (Colonization) or B (Grexit), though being an astute politician he did not clearly articulate that position.  Varoufakis will now agree that this is indeed what the subtext was. (Shäuble must have been as baffled by Varoufakis’ cluelessness in understanding what was being said in Political terms as the latter was baffled by the Eurozone’s “blank stares” to his rational economics).

Shäuble could have helped Varoufakis explore Grexit in greater detail since both of them in their own principled way violently agreed that the current situation IS one of “extend and pretend” and it can only come to an end via A (colonization) or B (Grexit), with the latter  being an option Shäuble was willing to consider.  Indeed I believe from his many pronouncements he was sympathetic to the Greek argument for sovereignty: his stance was simply that being a colony of a German Empire, if you don’t like it, then secede but don’t lecture us on how the Empire operates.  

And I’ll help you.

But blinded by this religious belief in Europe as one of solidarity, equality, democracy, Grexit was a taboo.  Once Greece bought into this myth, A became the only option.


Far from being a villain, Shäuble could have helped Greece secede from the German Empire as peacefully as it could.  However Varoufakis and Greece in general were insisting on staying in this Empire AND having a say in how the Emperor ruled.

This was their fatal mistake.

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