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DiEM 25 (A Utopia Against Europe's Dystopia)

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 23/02/2016 Christos Terzides

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He's one of the most controversial figures of 2015, internationally. In just a few weeks, he went from obscure economist known only within his field to household name, in Europe and worldwide, without even trying. He didn't hesitate to take on the European leadership's entire economic staff. He rattled German Chancellor Angela Merkel--and many more. During his term as finance minister, something happened that months earlier might have seemed like science fiction: the banks in his country closed for week's and capital controls were imposed for the first time in a European Union member-state. He was popular but also ridiculed by some for his ideas and his behavior. But he broke convention, even when it came to dress code as he appeared alongside his EU counterparts in the casual chic garb more suited to a rock star than a career politician. I'm sure you've already guessed for who am I talking about.
Yanis Varoufakis was born March 24, 1961 and is an academic economist who was a member of the Greek parliament from January to September 2015. He represented the ruling Syriza party and held the position of Minister of Finance for seven months. He voted against the terms of the third bailout package for Greece. In December 2015, he announced plans to launch a pan-European movement the following February.
This movement was launched on February 9 in Berlin under the name DiEM25. Although it wasn't embraced by mega-ton names that would create buzz, the launch was joined, either personally or via statements, by Brian Eno, Julian Assange, Slavoj Žižek, and other figures who have sway with a large number of European citizens who have never been party members and was thus an important element that made people take note of the launch.
DiEM25--whose motto is "The European Union will be democratised. Or it will disintegrate!"--charged the entire European leadership for a lack of democracy and for manipulating it for the gain of specific big interests.
One of the Berlin launch's most interesting moments came when a Greek in the audience accused Mr Varoufakis of being responsible for the capital controls imposed within Greece after the government called a referendum over the new bailout terms Greece's creditors had proposed. Protesting loudly, the man blamed the fact that he was unable to receive his salary from Greece on Mr Varoufakis; sensing the former finance minister's sarcasm, he even blamed him for the earthquake that shook San Francisco at the start of the previous century! (Of course, it's worth noting here that the frustrated Greek citizen was a reporter for one of Greece's biggest private channels--a channel that has been accused by the party, to which the former minister once belonged, as supporting vested interests and corruption.)
"In 1967, democracy in Greece was taken down by tanks. In 2015, this was done by banks," Mr Varoufakis replied. "You can blame me, I'm ok with that, but you need to see the real reason. Bureaucrats, who can't see further than their noses or even understand their own countries' needs, closed the banks. The troika is responsible for the fact that you can't get your salary from Greece"
He said it's most likely DiEM25 would fail, but that his utopia is perhaps the only response to the European dystopia.
Of course, only time can be the absolute judge of any politician. Thus, with time we'll be able to evaluate this controversial personality and its utopian, as he described them, proposals.

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