A man of honor

It would be remarkable if the USA had a single political leader who cared as much about his nation and as little about his career as Greece’s newly ex-finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, who resigned after successfully leading Greece’s campaign to reject the Eurogroup’s ultimatum:

The referendum of 5th July will stay in history as a unique moment when a small European nation rose up against debt-bondage.

Like all struggles for democratic rights, so too this historic rejection of the Eurogroup’s 25th June ultimatum comes with a large price tag attached. It is, therefore, essential that the great capital bestowed upon our government by the splendid NO vote be invested immediately into a YES to a proper resolution – to an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour of the needy, and real reforms.

Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.

I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum.

And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.

We of the Left know how to act collectively with no care for the privileges of office. I shall support fully Prime Minister Tsipras, the new Minister of Finance, and our government.

The superhuman effort to honour the brave people of Greece, and the famous OXI (NO) that they granted to democrats the world over, is just beginning.

I don’t agree with Mr. Varoufakis on much, but his defense of Greece’s national sovereignty in the face of tremendous pressure from the banks and the European political class was as magnificent as it was astonishing. I hope that he soon realizes that Greece no more needs the European Union or the Euro weighing it down than it needed to pay the odious debts demanded by the Eurogroup.