On November 25, at a hip event loft in Berlin, Yanis Varoufakis announced that hed be campaigning for office in two countries at once. In the spring, the former Greek finance minister had declared his intention to run for prime minister back home in Athensand in ordinary times, that might have been enough. Today, though, discontent, xenophobia, and precariousness are on a triumphant march around the world, as Varoufakis told his mostly German audience.
Flanked by a dozen members of DiEM25, the pan-European movement launched in 2016 to democratize the continents institutions, Varoufakis announced that he would run for a seat representing Germany in the European Parliament. He would make his bid as a Greek, a European, and, you might even say, a Berlinerall to drive home a larger point about the necessity of thinking beyond borders. No European people can be prosperous and free when other European countries are condemned to the permanent depression that eternal austerity creates, he said.
Persistent unemployment, cuts to welfare, and other suffocating economic policies across the continent help explain why Varoufakis chose Germanya country hes best known for antagonizing, precisely over its leaders support for austerity, in the fraught negotiations over Greeces debt in 2015. These circumstances are also the motivating force behind the Progressive International, an initiative that Varoufakis launched five days later in Burlington, Vermont, with DiEM25 and the Sanders Institute.