Greece's former finance minister was secretly convening with a group of advisors to form a parallel economic plan to the European bailout for Greece, tapes released Monday revealed. Yanis Varoufakis' group met over the course of five months to form a plan that reportedly included stealing from the national bank and from taxpayers to finance replacing the euro with a return to the drachma, the country's former unit of currency. News of this latest infidelity in Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's splintering Syriza government has shaken Greece.
In the recordings, released by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, a research institute for global policy based out of London, Varoufakis confirmed the existence of his parallel group and shared new information concerning Germany and its allies. "The French are terrified," he reportedly said in the phone call. "They are terrified because they know that if they’re going to shrink their budget deficit to the levels that Berlin demands, the Parisian government will certainly fall."
Feeling abandoned by French allies and strangled by austerity measures from European lenders (Germany, in particular), Varoufakis insisted that everything he did was for the good of the Greek people.
Statement by Yanis Varoufakis on the FinMin’s Plan B Working Group & the parallel payment system http://t.co/9JTWNyq8JK
— Yanis Varoufakis (@yanisvaroufakis) July 27, 2015
Varoufakis and his parallel government planned to raid the Greek central bank and use taxpayer money to return to the drachma, the Guardian reported. The former finance minister and his allies in this contingency plan denied any such plan to steal from the government. In the post, the former minister detailed the activities of his "working group" for a contingency plan. According to the Varoufakis, the group was convened at the request of Tsipras and was co-organized with James K. Galbraith, a U.S. professor of economics at the University of Texas in Austin.
"[D]uring the five months of negotiations that gripped Europe and changed the debate throughout the continent, the Ministry of Finance did everything possible to serve the public interest against many odds," wrote Varoufakis in a post published Monday on his website. "The current media campaign to besmirch these efforts will fail to dent the legacy of a crucial five-month struggle for democracy and common sense" the blog post read.
News of Varoufakis' actions have already sparked outrage from Greek politicians. One leader from Potami, a center-left party in Greece, called for Varoufakis and his group to be thoroughly investigated, adding that the former minister's actions were “reminiscent of a bad thriller," the Financial Times reported.