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Yanis Varoufakis: The Greek Crisis and the Threat to Political Liberalism: A cautionary tale for Ireland, Portugal, the whole of Europe
If 1929 has taught us anything, it is that a major (capital `c') Crisis poses a lethal threat to (a) currency unions (e.g. the Gold Standard then, the euro today) and (b) political liberalism. The latter threat has, so far, featured only as a projection (see here for a relevant argument), rather than an observed reality. In a recent post I argued that the EU's recent demand that Greece's assets be privatised by a junta of foreign officials was the first step toward the dismantling of the EU's basic democratic principles. Today, in this post, I  warn about an even more radical threat, this time to basic liberal tenets about the rights of private citizens. My warning will take the form of a true story, to which I am an eyewitness. It should, I submit, send shivers down the spine of all European (small `l') liberals. Precisely because this is a seriously worrying tale, I shall include no commentary: just a blow by blow account of facts.


So, what was the latest development that egged me on to write this post? This coming Thursday (16th June 2011) a well thought of Greek publisher will be launching a new Greek book of mine in the splendid gardens of the Byzantine Museum (in downtown Athens). It is a Lexicon in which I have compiled definitions and explanations of the terminology of the present economic and political crisis (anything from the word `crisis' to `CDS', `CDO' and the like). Well, this morning my publisher called me with hideous news. For the first time in living memory the three major newspapers of the land (Vima, Kathimerini, Eletherotypia) have failed to publish in their Sunday editions (or even to mention) the press release regarding my book's launch. What makes this even more astounding is that the book will be launched by senior, well established figures: Alekos Papadopoulos (the former Finance Minister of Greece, who was the only Fin Min under whose watch Greece's debt shrank significantly); Christos Chomenidis (one of Greece's renowned new generation novelists) and Nikos Xydakis (the editor in chief of one of these newspapers, Kathimerini, which refused to mention the book's launch).

When I asked my publishers how they interpreted this `silence', the answer came back crystal clear: It is nothing short of an old fashioned purge.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 13th, 2011 at 08:31:35 AM EST

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