‘Disgraceful Remainers!’ Yanis Varoufakis fury as he admits why he switched Brexit sides
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The former Greek finance minister said he switched sides in the Brexit debate after watching how Eurocrats conducted post-referendum relations with the UK. He had initially backed the Remain campaign, arguing that it would be economically beneficial for the UK to stay in the continental club of nations.
Mr Varoufakis, a growing voice on international economics, also touched on Greece’s debt crisis of 2007-2008.
He said he formed his pro-Remain views after watching the EU and the country’s ruling class inflict heavy damage on Greece.
He tweeted: “Greece was ruined by an unholy alliance of its ruling class and Brussels.
“Despite that, I thought Brexit would hurt the weakest in the UK & so opposed it.
“But having watched the disgraceful behaviour of hard Remainers & of Brussels post-2016, I changed my tune.”
He made the admission in response to a question from BBC Question Time fan about why the economist switched sides in the debate surrounding Brexit.
Mr Varoufakis is set to appear on tonight’s programme alongside shadow housing secretary Lucy Powell, minister for apprenticeships and skills Gillian Keegan and pollster Franks Luntz.
They will be joined by businesswoman and former Apprentice star Kavita Oberoi.
Last month Mr Varoufakis again touched on Greece’s economic crisis, saying it was not right to “surrender” the economy to powers in Brussels.
Asked if it was still his opinion if Greece should remain a member of the EU, he told UnHerd: “Absolutely, but I wish we had gone all the way to the edge.
“I was trying to push our government all the way to the edge but it turned out behind my back my prime minister had agreed with Angela Merkel that they wouldn’t go to the edge and that he would capitulate.”
At the height of the crisis the EU came under fire for the strict conditions it placed on its bailout offer.
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The three-year plan designed to bring Greece’s economy back into good health was rejected in a referendum in July 2015.
Greeks voted 62 percent to reject the package.
The Greek government nevertheless pushed ahead and accepted an even harsher option.
The three-year plan saw Greece accept billions of euros in exchange for making huge economic reforms.
The Brexit debate is likely to crop up again on tonight’s BBC Question Time.
The Prime Minister has come under growing pressure to address the issues arising from the Northern Ireland Protocol.
On Thursday, Greg Hands, the international trade minister, said the UK is working to resolve its dispute with the EU over the implementation of the protocol, a key part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.
And US President Joe Biden, who landed in Britain for the G7 summit yesterday, is expected to warn Boris Johnson that the row must not be allowed to jeopardise the Northern Ireland peace process.
Mr Hands told Sky News: “We absolutely agree on preserving the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement. But to do that does mean a more pragmatic approach from the European Union in terms of how it interprets the Protocol.
“We have submitted some very serious proposals to Brussels about how to improve the situation. Talks are ongoing. They didn’t get a breakthrough yesterday but nor have they broken down.
“We need to find something that works well for everybody. The EU is following a very officious interpretation of a lot of these rules. We are looking for a more pragmatic approach.”
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