Mohamed El-Erian: In defence of Yanis Varoufakis

„That is why it is important to take note of the ideas that Varoufakis continues to espouse. Greeks and others may fault him for pursuing his agenda with too little politesse while in office. But the essence of that agenda was—and remains—largely correct. […]

Varoufakis had no control over the economic mess that Syriza inherited when it came to power, including an unemployment rate hovering around 25% and youth joblessness that had been running at more than 50% for a considerable period. He could not influence in any meaningful manner the national narratives that had sunk deep roots in other European countries and thus undermined those countries’ ability to adapt. He could not counter the view among some of the region’s politicians that success for Syriza would embolden and strengthen other non-traditional parties around Europe.

It also would have been irresponsible for Varoufakis not to work behind closed doors on a plan B.


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