Yanis Varoufakis is currently playing to packed houses during his European Tour [aka lap of honour] and is frequently honoured with standing ovations.
His appearance in Coimbra [Portugal] was no exception.
It seems that Yanis Varoufakis is more relaxed [and expansive] in a university lecture hall – especially where his audience knows what its like to receive a visit [or two] from the Troika.
The highlights of his lecture are too numerous to mention but the main thread of this talk focused upon how European nations have consigned there national sovereignty to an anti-democratic black hole centred in Brussels that is slowly [but surely] eradicating European democracy.
During the lecture Yanis Varoufakis provides many anecdotes and plenty of insights.
He addressed many questions like:
Why is it that politicians are so inferior when compared to the politicians of yesteryear?
Sadly he concluded:
All you need to be a good politician these days is the ability to repeat the mantra.
In the Q&A session following the lecture Yanis Varoufakis quantifies the price of democracy:
1.5 million Euros for the Greek referendum.
Portugal is an amazing country that knows all about European trade deficits, European budgetary deficits, European social deficits and European population deficits.
Sadly, it seems Portugal might also be experiencing another European democracy deficit.
Antonio Costa, Portugal’s Socialist leader and son of a Goan poet, has refused to go along with further pay cuts for public workers, or to submit tamely to a Right-wing coalition under the thumb of the now-departed EU-IMF ‘Troika’.
Against all assumptions, he has suspended his party’s historic feud with Portugal’s Communists and combined in a triple alliance with the Left Bloc.
The trio have demanded the right to govern the country, and together they have an absolute majority in the Portuguese parliament.
Mr Costa’s hard-Left allies both favour a return to the escudo.
Each concluded that Greece’s tortured acrobatics under Alexis Tspiras show beyond doubt that it is impossible to run a sovereign economic policy within the constraints of the single currency.
Defiant Portugal shatters the eurozone’s political complacency
Brussels faces a second anti-austerity revolt as the Portuguese Left tears up the script and demands the right to govern
The Telegraph – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard – 21 Oct 2015
The Portuguese president has invited incumbent Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho to form the next government, despite him having lost his majority.
BBC – 22 Oct 2015
So here again, just like in Brazil and Turkey, we’re set to see political turmoil take center stage, and the EU will be forced to stand by and hope that Portugal remains “in the fold” so to speak when it comes to austerity and the outward appearance of fiscal rectitude.
In “Manifest Waste Of Time,”
Portugal Reappoints PM In Defiance Of Anti-Euro Left Coalition
ZeroHedge.com – Tyler Durden – 22 Oct 2015
During the talk Yanis Varoufakis states Britain was a basket case in 1946.
The gory origins of the phrase basket case is another sad testament to the 20th century.
Maj Gen Ireland, Surgeon General of the army, said today there was no foundation for widely circulated and persistent reports of basket cases in army hospitals.
A basket case is a soldier who has lost both legs and both arms, and therefore cannot be carried on a stretcher.
“I have personally examined the records,” said Gen Ireland, “and am able to say there is not a single basket case either on this side of the water nor among the soldiers of the American Expeditionary Forces.
Further, I wish to emphasize that there has been no instance of an American soldier so wounded during the whole period of the war.”
Boston Evening Globe -27 Mar 1919.
See: WorldWideWords.org – Michael Quinion.
As for 1946…
There aren’t all that many laughs in 1946, and such as there are tend to be dark black.
A 1946 study by British psychologists discovered that those freed from forced labour in the camps still seemed a bit grumpy about the state of the world.
They were suffering, apparently, from ‘Liberation Complex’.
Greece was a basket case.
Iran and Turkey were Cold War crucibles.
China was in the grip of a power struggle between Mao Zedong and, if it were possible, the even less appealing Chiang Kai-Shek; not to mention starving after the retreating Japanese blew the dykes on the Yellow River and flooded three million acres of farmland.
In Japan, newspapers were running advice columns with headlines such as ‘Let’s catch grasshoppers’ and ‘How to eat acorns’.
And Germany was fucked: literally.
Sebestyen’s account of the way the Red Army raped its way across Eastern Germany is too grisly to rehearse here in detail, but detail there is.
How Hitler’s dreams came true in 1946
The Spectator – Sam Leith – 11 October 2014
With the end of the Second World War, a new world was born.
The peace agreements that brought the conflict to an end implemented decisions that not only shaped the second half of the twentieth century, but continue to affect our world today and impact on its future.
In 1946 the Cold War began, the state of Israel was conceived, the independence of India was all but confirmed and Chinese Communists gained a decisive upper hand in their fight for power.
It was a pivotal year in modern history in which countries were reborn and created, national and ideological boundaries were redrawn and people across the globe began to rebuild their lives.
1946: The Making of the Modern World Paperback – 2014 – Victor Sebestyen
But nobody asked him whether he thinks Britain is still a basket case.