And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe, Austerity and the Threat to Global Stability by Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis

Yanis Varoufakis was the Finance Minister of Greece for all of 5 months in the year 2015 before his Government was ousted from power under the cabalistic influence of the European Commission and the European Central Bank. Rocked by the severe financial recession of 2008, Greece tottered on the brink of bankruptcy, having become insolvent and unable to honour their obligations to the European Union. This tailspin put the credibility of the very common currency under ominous clouds and Greece was threatened with an expulsion from the Eurozone. While a move back to embracing the drachma would be a painstaking and dangerous process, the impression that the world got was that Greece was festered by a complacent population of ‘grasshoppers’ living a life of uncaring decadence much to the chagrin and cost of the diligent ‘ants’ populating the rest of Europe.

In this fascinating part biography, part polemic aimed at the Frankfurt-Brussels-Paris cartel, Varoufakis strives to set matters straight. Beginning with the Bretton Woods pact in 1944, and moving through the Nixon Shock of 1971 (which ensured the waterboarding of Europe from the exchange rate mechanism that was pegged to the gold), Varoufakis dwells at length on the very flawed foundations upon which the creation of Euro was based. A group of deficit-phobic European States each pursuing to shamelessly pursue their own motifs and interests with a beggar-thy-neighbour attitude led to the entire economy being imperiled unable to withstand the frenzied panic of 2008. Varoufakis also reveals with startling clarity the shenanigans, satirical moves and absolute charades engaged in by Germany and France to seemingly stabilize the ruined economies of Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Greece by resorting to a convoluted scheme of bail outs which instead of providing the much needed succor and support, throttled the borrowers by imposing upon them the death trap of austerity. These impossibility of complying with such idiotic austerity measures was clear to both the lender as well as the borrower. But with the sole intention of abiding by an insensible European Rule book, the participants had no option but to move their feet to the accompanying music, swaying and tottering a dance of death.

Varoufakis also proposes a Modest rescue plan in the appendix which is far removed from the dangerous prescriptions offered by the mavens occupying the chairs at the European Central Bank and the European Commission, although there is a real possibility that his recommendations would never pass the confines of the Appendix in his marvelous book.

“And The Weak Suffer What They Must?” – An essential reading for everyone eager to understand the economic tumult and turmoil rocking present-day Europe.

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