Spain must defy Brussels, Varoufakis tells anti-austerity campaigners

DURING an appearance at an anti-austerity gathering in Madrid on February 21, Greece’s former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis told cheering protesters that their next leader must make a stand against EU-imposed austerity measures. 

Attending the “Plan B” event in former-slaughterhouse-turned-cultural centre, Matadero Madrid, Varoufakis rubbed shoulders with activists, celebrities and Spain’s leftist politicians as part of a Europe-wide movement against what are now viewed by many as “false solutions”. 

Using Greece as an example, the far-left politician spoke out against the Troika committee (the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary fund), which had, claimed Varoufakis “tried to convince the Greek people that the Spanish austerity programme was a success story”. 

In exchange for European funding, Greece had to agree to enforce a strict fiscal austerity programme in 2010. 

The eleventh austerity package was approved in August 2015 and included an increase in various taxes and reforms for the country’s retirement system. 

However, Varoufakis claims that this was a tipping point that drove the Greek electorate into the arms of the radical left-wing party Syriza, which took over the reigns of government in January 2015. 

Continuing to describe Spain’s current political stalemate as “a crucial juncture” he urged the Spanish to follow Greece’s suit and not buy into the “lie” that austerity will provide an adequate solution to economic crisis. 

The Plan B manifesto supports alternate proposals including “a fair tax policy, the closure of tax havens, complementary exchange systems, re-municipalisation of public services and the equal distribution of jobs”. 

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