Gov’t on de­fense over Plan B

Parliament speaker agrees to dis­cus­sion of ND’s demand for in­ves­ti­ga­tion into cap­i­tal controls

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Rev­e­la­tions by Amer­i­can econ­o­mist James Gal­braith about a Plan B for Greece drafted by for­mer Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ya­nis Varo­ufakis yes­ter­day fu­eled a po­lit­i­cal storm, with New Democ­racy se­cur­ing ap­proval from Parliament for a dis­cus­sion on set­ting up a House in­ves­tiga­tive com­mit­tee into last year’s ne­go­ti­a­tions with cred­i­tors and the im­po­si­tion of cap­i­tal controls.

In his book “Wel­come to the Poi­soned Chalice: The De­struc­tion of Greece and the Fu­ture of Europe,” Gal­braith re­veals that Varo­ufakis’s plan fore­saw a state of emer­gency, the na­tion­al­iza­tion of the Bank of Greece, the trans­for- ma­tion of bank de­posits into a New Drachma and emer­gency pub­lic or­der mea­sures.

Com­ment­ing, ND spokesman Gior­gos Koumout­sakos said Gal­braith’s rev­e­la­tions made ND’s long­stand­ing demand for an in­ves­ti­ga­tion even more press­ing. “This dark pe­riod must be fully il­lu­mi­nated,” he said. “The fu­ture of the coun­try and of the Greek peo­ple was gam­bled.”

Re­spond­ing to the re­quest, Parliament Speaker Nikos Vout­sis said a dis­cus­sion would be held at the end of July.

In sep­a­rate in­ter­views with state tele­vi­sion ERT, State Min­is­ter Nikos Pap­pas and For­eign Min­is­ter Nikos Kotzias de­fended the gov­ern­ment’s record, in­clud­ing its de­ci­sion to hold a ref­er­en­dum on aus­ter­ity last sum­mer.

Pap­pas spoke of “pres­sures” from euro­zone fi­nance ministers last year and said Varo­ufakis had pro­posed the con­tin­u­a­tion of the pre­vi­ous bailout pro­gram of for­mer prime min­is­ter An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras. “That would have been a painful choice which we for­tu­nately avoided, achiev­ing an ex­ten­sion of the agree­ment,” Pap­pas said. Not­ing that, “at some point, every­thing must be said,” Kotzias said Varo­ufakis had pressed for a quick deal, “warn­ing that that the ATMs were at risk of clos­ing.” “He said he would take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the Fe­bru­ary agree­ment, which was much worse than the out­come of the sec­ond ne­go­ti­a­tion,” he added.

In com­ments to Kathimerini, Varo­ufakis said the gov­ern­ment was “con­fused.” “It can’t be that the dif­fer­ent sides of the same sta­tus quo ac­cuse me of be­ing a de­struc­tive force on the one hand and a sup­porter of mem­o­ran­dums on the other,” he said. As for Pap­pas’s claim that he wanted to con­tinue Sa­ma­ras’s agree­ment, Varo­ufakis said, “Noth­ing had been agreed by the Sa­ma­ras gov­ern­ment to con­tinue.”

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