U.S. foreign policy got in the way of helping Greece, Varoufakis says

President Barack Obama offered stinging criticism of Germany’s treatment of Greece in February 2015 remarks.

But as the crisis escalated, the Obama administration declined to speak out.

Only in late June and July, when Germany and other international creditors appeared prepare to force Greece out of the eurozone, with the Greek banking system on the brink of collapse, did the administration speak up.

[Secretary of the Treasury Jack] Lew called for Greece’s creditors to allow the country to restructure its debts and for Greece to continue budgetary and economic reforms. Some experts believe the United States was behind the release of an IMF report characterizing the country’s debt as unsustainable. The report came out over European objections at the height of last-minute debt negotiations in early July. […]

[Yanis Varoufakis] argued on Wednesday that the United States’ inaction on Greece stemmed from a belief that Greece was ‘in the sphere of influence of Germany.’ […]

Intervening was not worth the risk of jeopardizing German unity with the U.S. against Russian meddling in Ukraine, as well as collaboration on the U.S.’s agenda in Libya and Syria, according to the ex-finance minister.