Never waste a good crisis. When the radical left-wing economist, academic and politician Yanis Varoufakis resigned as Greek finance minister in 2015, he went on to co-found the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, or DiEM25, with the Croatian philosopher Srećko Horvat. The acronym DiEM is a play on words, bringing to mind the Latin aphorism “carpe diem” (“seize the day”), and highlighting the fact that the movement aims to completely reform the European Union’s institutional structure by the year 2025.
Varoufakis has spoken in the past about how the Eurozone crisis opened up a “window of opportunity” for reform (and some have criticised him for wanting to exploit crises to push radical change). On 15 September 2018, it will have been a decade since the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy helped trigger a global panic resulting in a financial crisis. Comentators are already wondering if the momentum from that crisis is now over, and if the “window of opportunity” for reform has closed.
We recently spoke to Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek Minister of Finance (2015) and DiEM25 co-founder, to see what he thought. Our interview with Yanis Varoufakis is the latest in our #Ask series, which has included the CEO of the World Bank, Kristalina Georgieva; European Central Bank President Mario Draghi; President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly.
So, what do our readers think? We had a comment sent in from Alfredo, who thinks there will be another financial and economic crisis soon. Certainly, the global economy seems particularly volatile at the moment, with a booming stock market in the US at the same time as crises unfold in countries such as Argentina and Turkey. However, surely the 2007-2008 crisis was a once-in-a-generation thing; could it really happen again?
Next up, we had a comment from Julia, who wants to see a more ‘people-centric’ EU. She supports Yanis Varoufakis’ DiEM25 movement, and would like to see the EU reformed based on his ideas. In practice, however, what would that actually mean? How would DiEM25 put European citizens at the centre of politics?
Finally, we had a comment from Urkreator, who argued that Varoufakis launched his pan-European movement “because any country in Europe (including Germany) is too small to face global challenges and compete with giants like China, India, the USA, etc.”
We asked Varoufakis himself: is that why he helped found DiEM25? And does he believe that is a good reason to be pro-European integration?
Could the 2008 financial crisis happen again? How can we make the EU more ‘people-centric’? And is competition with giants such as China and the US a good reason to support European integration? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!