Varoufakis: Greek Reforms ‘Going to Fail’

Yanis Varoufakis
The Associated Press

Greece’s outspoken former finance minister has warned the country’s controversial planned economic reforms are “going to fail” and said the country’s government does not really believe they will work.

Yannis Varoufakis told the BBC that Greece was being subjected to an economic programme that would “go down in history as the greatest disaster of macroeconomic management ever”.

The country’s parliament this week approved a range of harsh new austerity measures just 10 days after the Greek people voted against similar proposals in a referendum. The country could receive up to €86bn to prop up its crumbling economy.

However, Varoufakis said: “This programme is going to fail whoever undertakes its implementation.” When asked how long this would take he responded: “It has failed already.”

Varoufakis resigned earlier this month in a conciliatory gesture to European finance ministers as Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attempted to negotiate a new deal. His abrasive style and unwillingness to compromise led to some EU leaders refusing to deal with him.

He said that Tsipras does not believe in the new deal, but had little choice but to sign up after being bullied by Germany.

“We were given a choice between being executed and capitulating. And he decided that capitulation was the ultimate strategy,” he said.

Tsipras last night announced a cabinet reshuffle, purging members of his government who voted against the new bailout deal. One of the men replaced was energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, a hard line member of the Syriza coalition.

The government will now have to pass even more reforms next Wednesday.

The German parliament has now voted to open talks for a new bailout deal, although Chancellor Angela Merkel faced a serious rebellion from within her own party. However, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, said the process could take up to four weeks.