Varoufakis told you so

David Patrikarakos in Politico:

ScreenHunter_1382 Sep. 23 17.33Yanis Varoufakis lives in understated elegance. His apartment is spacious and pleasing to the eye. Shelves bulge with books on politics and economics, unsurprising for a university professor who was, until July, Greece’s finance minister.

Varoufakis is welcoming. He makes us coffee and puts a box of chocolates on the table, next to Joseph Stiglitz’s book on inequality, “The Great Divide.” He’s dressed in a dark red T-shirt and dark trousers, and pads around in his socks. When we arranged this meeting, he told me he didn’t want to talk about Greece’s election because he thought it a sad affair. After Sunday’s vote, though, he’s willing to speak.

I ask why he found it so depressing. After all, the voters didn’t punish his former government colleagues in Syriza or Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister. “I don’t want to reduce the significance of Alexis’ triumph,” he says, “but compared to the referendum, we had 1.6 million people who abstained. The party lost 363,000 votes since January. The democratic deficit has grown substantially. Even those who voted for [Tsipras], did so with sorrow and apprehension in their hearts. It was just a very sad election.”

“The great winners of this election,” he continues, “besides Alexis, were the Troika [the IMF, European Commission and ECB].”

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