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!



63 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Luka Jerinic

    In late 2007. I read an interview with the Croatian economist Cicin-Sain who said that a big crisis will hit the world and will last for 7 years. I was shocked, but it happened very soon and in Croatia it lasted for app. 7 years regarding both public finance and the private sector. I’m not superstitous but there is definitely something in this “theory” of 7 year cycles of good and bad periods of economic growth and downturn. Is it going to hit us ago in 2021? I would be a millionaire if I could answer that question.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Luka Jerinic
      Not so prophetic methinks. I recall Max Kaiser mentioning that the effects of the Wall Street Crash lasted 10 years.

      BTW, I am not 100% certain that the 2007/2008 crash has fully wound down…

  2. avatar
    Ivan

    You don’t know it yet but it already as, for the EU anyway. Enjoy.

    • avatar
      Borislav

      Last time I checked UK is still very much part of EU, but what are your comments on a recent polls that 60% of UK would now vote for STAY?

    • avatar
      Arnout

      Goodluck with that 0.1% growth xD

    • avatar
      Erik

      Ivan
      ‘Hitlers dream come true’ ….wahaha. you really dare to post such stupidity? And you representing the UK in the European parliament? OMG

    • avatar
      Ivan

      Borislav The only poll that matters was the referendum comrade. We are leaving your pointless & antidemocratic EU, cope with it 8|

    • avatar
      Borislav

      Ivan cannot wait to see your government bending and agreeing on a referendum on the final deal. Would be looking for your expert opinion on this. While we are speaking about antidemocratic, would it be democratic to force a deal on people that day did not vote for? I remember the promises from the Leave camp and how many of them came true so far? Oh and this comrade that you are using refers to a time and group of people I do not see myself part of, so would you mind stop using it?

    • avatar
      Ivan

      Borislav Sorry comrade but we will not take advice from a Nation that cannot take care of its own affairs and allows an unelected European Politburo to run your lives for you. We will continue to take your doctors, nurses, engineers, etc however because intelligent Bulgarians know there is no future for them in the pointless EU 8|

      https://www.ft.com/content/51f1bd86-d6cc-11e7-ae3e-563c04c5339a

    • avatar
      Stefania

      Ivan forse non hai capito che la vita a noi ( non solo di Italia ma nel mondo ) ce l’ha rovinta proprio l’Inghilterra . Smettetela di fare disatri e impicciatevi di casa vostra . Siete il diavolo

    • avatar
      Georgi

      Ivan except intelligent Bulgarians only came to the UK because it was part of the EU. Stop being delusional.

    • avatar
      Ivan

      Georgi Of course they do comrade, of course they do 8|

    • avatar
      Ivan

      Stefania Could repost that in English please. Thank you.

    • avatar
      Stefania

      Ivan come io leggo attraverso il traduttore quello che dici , fai lo stesso tu. Impossibile scriverti in inglese perchè non lo conosco e nella traduzione dall’italiano all’inglese cambia il senso di quello che ho scritto. . Quando parlo voglio essere sicura di dire esattamente quello che voglio dire .
      Ivan as I read through the translator what you say, do the same you. Can’t write you in English because I don’t know him and in translation from Italian to English change the sense of what I wrote. When I speak I want to be sure to say exactly what I mean.

    • avatar
      Borislav

      Ivan you are truly a strange person. I simply asked you not to use comrade because to some people it can be offensive but seems you lack basic understanding of cultural diversity and empathy. Political views aside, you should really consider the way you address people if you want to have a proper dialog. I am tempted to call you an ignorant Brit but that would be offensive to all my British friends as none of them even comes close to the way you act. As i said, i will be looking for your comments, once a new referendum is scheduled, cheers

    • avatar
      Ivan

      Borislav No sir, you wish to control thoughts & idea though the banning of words ‘you’ find objectionable, which a typical Socialist slight of hand ploy to control any given debate. It is a perfectly non offensive word listed in every dictionary of the English language & if you have a problem with it I can only suggest you block my posts & scurry along to your echo chamber safe space …….. comrade 8|

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/09/01/will-no-second-referendum-brexit-would-gross-betrayal-democracy/

    • avatar
      Borislav

      Ivan you are wrong. A word can be present in any English dictionary and still be offensive to a group of people or nation. Especially when it refers to a past they are still recovering from. Drug addict is perfectly non offensive phrase in my dictionaries but you go tell this to someone who just left rehab and wait for the response. But I understand, trying to put off people you communicate is your thing you might after all be an ignorant Brit :) And that article you just shared is from 1st of September, considering the recent poll mentioned about, wouldn’t you agree that no second referendum would be undemocratic?

    • avatar
      Ivan

      Borislav Whatever you say comrade, what ever you say. But thank you for the insult, it just reaffirms my previous comment.

      Tell me, why do you pro EU fanatics hate democracy so much ?

    • avatar
      Ivan

      Borislav

      You believe in the absolute rule of the unelected elite in Brussels & then try to educate us on democracy ? …. seriously lol 8|

    • avatar
      Borislav

      Ivan I did try with patience but since you have been insulting me with every comment even after a raised the issue then you must be ignorant, power of deduction right? I absolutely love democracy, free trade and the opportunities they present but you already knew that because I’ve said on a multiple occasions. I am not trying to educate you on democracy, I simply asked you a question…

      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/peer-demands-police-probe-nigel-12851745

    • avatar
      Ivan

      Borislav I would have though that after throwing off the yoke of the USSR you would be against giving over the control of your lives to a new Politburo in Brussels comrade. But clearly you seem to like being owned by someone else’s empire. Or as Vladimir Lenin saw you & your kind, ‘the useful idiots’.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34882500

    • avatar
      Borislav

      Ivan you might be finally right about something, we did throw off the USSR and in the process learnt how not to be manipulated. Lenin and his ideas are a thing of the past, something you are having hard time understanding. Ignorance is a hard thing to combat so i genuinely wish you luck in your fight, perhaps one day common sense can win in your case. If not, well Lenin’s “useful idiots” may not be dead after all.

      https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/brexit-vote-two-years-on

  3. avatar
    Alexandre

    Sure it can.
    We are in a loop of registering more cash than what we can actually produce.
    So… we already are in the crash.
    Finance must submit to political and social guidelines (ecologic socialwealfare etc..)
    We can not keet insane profits for the finance that our society and our planet does not support.
    Politics should keep finance real !

  4. avatar
    Giø

    Why do you ask Varoufakis? Is it some kind of joke?

  5. avatar
    Arnout

    Yes, banks need regulation.

    • avatar
      Ivan

      That’s one way to kill the economy I suppose. Not very bright move though.

    • avatar
      Arnout

      Ivan Not verry bright to leave the EU you mean.

      But yea you rather be a slave of banks I know.

      Sadly every x years we will have a banking crisis and if we do not controle this then war is verry much a likley option.

      I bet you also thought ending slave trade stopped the economy. So much for your humanitarian mind.

  6. avatar
    Tassos

    Varoufakis is the perfect person to ask, he added 80 billion on the Greek Dept in a year……..

    • avatar
      Ivan

      No he didn’t, being in the Euro destroyed the Greek economy, anything that happened after Athens join the political currency was not only inevitable but was also unavailable. The real culprits are the fanatics who sacrificed the future of millions of people across the EU in the name of the ‘Ever closer union’ dogma.

    • avatar
      Tassos

      Ivan yes he did…..the guy is an idiot but if you don’t believe me your free to make him your Minister of economy.

    • avatar
      Stav

      Yes unfortunately he did and he went for beers.

    • avatar
      Thomas

      Ivan Mate, if you love him so much we, Greeks, will pay you so you keep him forever in the UK.

  7. avatar
    Στέργιος

    Of course. It is really easy to happen again unless the social mentality changes. The consumption model that has been established in Europe during the last 10 or more generations is no longer sustainable if it ever was… Unless this changes we are going to drawn in our garbage… Pan-European movements either left or right will increase in number.

  8. avatar
    Ray

    The Greek economist talks nicely and always attacks the EU. I wonder what’s his view on Greece’s endemic economic woes and political corruption.

    • avatar
      Giø

      He is not a respected economist. He built his career talking poetically about economics every night on TV through Skype. Then, they made him a Minister. Boom, like that.

    • avatar
      Micheál

      Giø varaofakis built his career as a highly respected academic economist. His work on quasi-money trading network such as in computer games was pioneering.

      The IMFs internal audit in how they handled the Greek crisis essentially vindicated his position. Which was that Greece was bankrupt in 2010 and that private creditors should not be bailed out by the citizenry of Europe, and take their losses.

  9. avatar
    Irene

    You should ask the Greeks about this guy.

  10. avatar
    Agnieszka

    He is a strong theoretician of economics, but that’s where it ends.

  11. avatar
    Giø

    Mr. Yanis (with one “n” in his name) Varoufakis was far from honestly concerned about the economy issues of Greece. He built this “character” of fake-rebellious style and magniloquent talks about economy in order to achieve a high position (and he did, as a Minister) even for a short term, and eventually live the rest of his life by being paid a lot for some meaningless talks at universities and other institutes around the world. He never cared for anything else apart from himself.

  12. avatar
    Luis

    The extreme left that lives like a bourjois dans une villa de luxe

    • avatar
      Micheál

      If you read the proposal in the 2015 standoff, its crentre right and very similar to what the IMF suggested

  13. avatar
    Peter

    Note that Greece is in much worse situation than in 2008. A total collapse is inevitable now. Because imagine Greece defaults. The rest will say “Hey, WTF, and we helped them so much ….”. People will (finally) wake up.

  14. avatar
    Coimbra

    O frequentador de bares de alterne

    • avatar
      Coimbra

      Alejandro Garcia nao eram as tuas que sao boas pr’a cara….

  15. avatar
    José

    Credebility of this man! Zero.

  16. avatar
    Valentin

    The 2007 economic crisis was induced by irresponsible banking system.Would be the case with the next one?

  17. avatar
    Federico

    Claro. Quem duvida,?
    Of course. Who doubts,?

    • avatar
      Alejandro

      There was your cousin praying the rosary.

  18. avatar
    Christos

    Next time please invite a charlatan to talk about global warming….

  19. avatar
    Alfredo

    It’s just around the corner, wait and see

  20. avatar
    Alejandro

    why is this place filled with trolls?

  21. avatar
    Kiriakos

    EU CAN EASY ORGANISE EVERYTHING FROM CRISIS TO A SUCCESS STORY

  22. avatar
    Carlos

    crises provoked by stockbrokers, some banking entities, corrupt politicians and wealthy countries such as Germany, etc. In Portugal most of the banks stole 21,000,000 euros, money that honest citizens had to pay without consideration! Countries such as Germany and England have received qualified emigrants, engineers, doctors, nurses without paying a euro in their training and … if university education is expensive for Portuguese families !!!! Belonging to a UNION (without a legislative uniformity of criminal, social, equal tax criteria and a serious and honest Justice, it is not a Union, which favors rogue and corrupt politicians) that says European ONLY to keep a strong currency like the Euro, where only those who benefit are exporting countries of expensive goods, such as Germany! I’m not surprised! And I feel less and less adept at a European Union😢😢😢😢😢😵

  23. avatar
    Muecke

    Lest seine Bücher! !!!
    Read his books! !!!

  24. avatar
    Carlos

    A former Portuguese minister, Paulo Portas, was involved in a submarine business (which Portugal did not need, we need doctors, nurses, trains, improve the material conditions of schools, hospitals, police stations, etc.) the parties involved in Germany were convicted by CRIME of corruption and in Portugal the Minister was never convicted, although in the past he was involved in suspicions of arms business, to the point that a university was closed. It is this lack of uniformity of criteria, for example in Justice and in other areas that I am not convinced that is beneficial to a Consensus Acceptance of the European Union.
    It’s shameful. And politicians in the European Parliament whistle to the side. But talking to Spanish and Greek friends, the feeling is the same. Is this the EUROPEAN UNION that the honest citizens of the European Union want for the future

  25. avatar
    Luka Jerinic

    Sto bismo mi u Hrvatskoj rekli:, Nasa mala klinika

    As we would we say in Croatia, “Our small clinic”

  26. avatar
    Bob L

    The 2008 financial crisis could certainly happen again, first of all, economical crises’ are from more or less all decades, and to think that the future will be different would be foolish. That an economic crisis will hit is a certainty, simply by Newton’s law: “What goes up must come down.”

    But next to this we can seriously question the financial health of EU Member States such as for example Italy. Investors are being warned heavily not to invest in Italian bonds, and Italy’s national debt is becoming so big that it is deemed unrepayable.

    Unfortunately, there are more “Greece’s” in the EU.

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