Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis was the guest speaker at the yearly socialist ‘fête de la Rose’ gathering in Frangy-en-Bresse in Burgundy this weekend, invited by former French economy minister and anti-austerity campaigner Arnaud Montebourg. This is the text in full of Varoufakis’ revealing and insightful speech.
Let me tell you why I am here with words I have borrowed from a famous old manifesto. I am here because:
A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of democracy. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: the state-sponsored bankers and the Eurogroup, the Troika and Dr Schäuble, Spain’s heirs of Franco’s political legacy and the SPD’s Berlin leadership, Baltic governments that subjected their populations to terrible, unnecessary recession and Greece’s resurgent oligarchy.
I am here in front of you because a small nation chose to oppose this holy alliance. To look at them in the eye and say: Our liberty is not for sale. Our dignity is not for auction. If we give up liberty and dignity, as you demand that we do, Europe will lose its integrity and forfeit its soul.
I am here in front of you because nothing good happens in Europe if it does not start from France.
The whole speech: