Too little, too late for Di Maio: Varoufakis forges on without Italy’s Prime Minister for a progressive Europe
By Florence Brock
NAPLES- Former Greek Minister of Finance Janis Varoufakis joined Mezz’ora in più Sunday to speak about Europe and his Diem25 movement that continues in its plight towards a progressive and fair Europe.
In an effort to continue increasing consensus for his transnational movement, the former Tsipras cabinet member emphasized the importance of the upcoming European Parliament election in the spring of 2019. “Our goal is to have other European progressive groups similar to ours come together in a united fight for pillars of Europe based on rights, social justice, the common good and the environment,” stated Varoufakis.
Echoing the very same pillars Vice Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio described just moments before Varoufakis was interviewed, host Lucia Annunziata asked him if this meant the Greek movement founder would have accepted someone as Di Maio or Five-star Movement party members in the Diem25 movement, Varoufakis immediately pointed out: “It is too little, too late. Minister Di Maio is in the government coalition and supporting League leader Matteo Salvini; I’m pleased Di Maio wants to change Europe, but who is he going to do that with? Politicians with fascist ideals such as France’s Marie Le Pen? Austria’s Sebastian Kurz? Or Hungarian leader Viktor Orban and others from the far right? We have a completely different idea of Europe and how we would like it to be. Di Maio has chosen Matteo Salvini and now he can stick with him,” he stressed.
As politics has been unable to cross such borders and respond with effective policies until now, DiEM25 has begun to invite Europeans to join together. Ready for next year’s Parliament vote, Diem25 will show another Europe is not only possible; it’s here.
Diem25 has been a vehicle for convergence of local independent movements that in other parts of Europe have been demonstrating there is indeed a different and effective way of conducting politics.
With fervent supporters such as Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris, former Mayor of Parma Federico Pizzarotti and activist and Mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau, the next move of Diem25 sees Varoufakis running for the European Parliament in the German Jurisdiction.
According to a report on the Euractiv.com website last week, Varoufakis is quoted as saying he plans to run – even though the European Parliament “is not a real parliament” – because he wants to show that “federalism is possible, and also that Germany’s current politics is harmful to Germans.”
With growing questions plaguing European people, big issues such as inequality, multinational tax evasion, migration and the launching of a new ecological productive system have gone much beyond national borders.
According to the Greek politician, Italy’s government is right to have made significant public spending proposal for the 2019 budget, causing the deficit target to rise to 2.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product. “Nonetheless, the country is making a big mistake by going to Brussels and demanding to bypass the rules, showing the third most important nation in Europe actually accepts the unfair austerity rules outlined by the old continent,” he asserted.
Claiming Prime Minister Conte should demand a change in laws such as fiscal compact that has been unfairly punishing European states, the Greek economist is convinced the right thing to do offer an alternative new rule equal for all European member states.
While shaking the ground under a continent that has been dictating austerity law, the 25 members states need to change; it is the only way for Europe is to halt the deepening rift in the European Union, securing a true future for itself.
This is not the first time Europe has heard the Greek politician’s words echo across borders. Varoufakis was nominated Minister of Finance under the Tsipras administration in 2015 and was a key figure in Greece’s fight against continued European austerity toward his country debts.
At the time, he sustained that placing European partners under pressure would lead to more favourable conditions for Greece. While his openly declared “Grexit” failed to receive votes of confidence among fellow cabinet members and, in turn, forced him to step down, the Greek politician has continued his battle for a cohesive Europe.
While Varoufakis would soon resign from his position in the Tsipras government, in order to facilitate degenerated relations between Greece and its creditors, he founded DiEM25, a political movement for the transformation of a democratic European Union, just a short time after in February 2016.