tv Democracy Now LINKTV April 28, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PDT
04/28/16 04/28/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from flagstaff, arizona, this is democracy now! broadcasting from northern arizona university. >> the government won the election in january 2015, to say no to the parliament. we're not accepting any more of your toxic loans under conditions that will shrink our economy. amy: former greek finance minister yanis varoufakis joins
us today as the white house calls for greece to continue to continue with crippling austerity measures. we will speak with yanis varoufakis about his new book as well as -- "and the weak suffer what they must?: europe's crisis and america's economic future." he resigned as the greek finance minister last year saying, i shall wear the creditors loathing with pride. but noam chomsky weighs in on first, bernie sanders' run for the white house. >> bernie sanders is an extremely interesting phenomenon. he has mobilized a large number of young people. these and people who are saying, look, we're not going to consent anymore. if that turns into a continuing organized, mobilized force, that could change the country. maybe not for this election, but longer-term.
amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders says he's cutting hundreds of campaign staffers as he concentrates his efforts on the upcoming california primary. the move comes after rival hillary clinton beat bernie sanders in four of the five contests tuesday. clinton won pennsylvania, maryland, delaware and , connecticut. sanders won rhode island. meanwhile, on the republican side, texas senator ted cruz has named former presidential rival carly fiorina as his vice-presidential running mate. >> after a gat deal of time and thought, after a great deal of consideration and prayer, i thatcome to the conclusion if i am nominated to be president of the united states,
withi will run on a ticket my vice presidential nominee carly fiorina. amy: it's the first time in four decades that a presidential hopeful has named a running mate before winning the party nomination. the last candidate to do so was ronald reagan during his 1976 campaign. meanwhile, republican presidential frontrunner donald trump unveiled some of his foreign policy proposals during a speech at the mayflower hotel in washington, d.c., wednesday. trump pledged to significantly increase the size and funding of the u.s. military. he also promised to destroy isil, although he gave no details on his proposed strategy. trump also repeated his pledge to reject trade deals. a federal judge has sentenced former house speaker dennis hastert to 15 months in prison for financial crimes related to his attempts to cover up his sexual abuse of high school wrestlers decades ago.
hastert was the longest-serving republican house speaker in history. in october, he pleaded guilty to breaking banking reporting laws while paying one of his victims millions in hush money to keep quiet about the sexual abuse. meanwhile, an oklahoma appeals court has sparked controversy after ruling that having oral sex with someone who is unconscious from drinking does not constitute rape. the ruling stems from a case in which a 17-year-old boy is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl who had passed out from drinking. the court ruled that existing oklahoma law did not specifically name incapacitation due to intoxication in its definition of forcible oral sodomy. in response, dean of the city university of new york law school michelle anderson called on oklahoma to change the statute, which she said "creates a huge loophole for sexual abuse that makes no sense."
the white house has backed calls for greece to continue to implement widespread austerity measures following president obama's meeting with german chancellor angela merkel earlier this week. greece and its international creditors are once again at odds as they negotiate the terms of greece's bailout and the extent of the austerity measures creditors can impose. on wednesday, white house spokesperson josh earnest told reporters the administration believes greece must follow through on structural reforms. >> we are very supportive of the efforts that members of the eu have made to deal with the financial challenges posed by greece's finances. part of that agreement included greece following through on a number of structural reforms. and we certainly believe that greece has the responsibility to
do that. amy: we'll have more on greece with former greek finance minister yanis varoufakis after headlines. doctors without borders says at least 14 patients and three doctors have been killed during an airstrike on a hospital in the syrian city of aleppo wednesday. residents said the airstrikes were carried out either by the syrian regime or by russia. the retail giant target has announced employees and customers can use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. this comes as a missouri house committee has voted down an anti-lgbt bill that would have led to ballot measure proposing to allow businesses, people and , organizations to use their religious beliefs as a legal excuse to discriminate against lgbt people. meanwhile, tennessee governor bill haslam has signed a new law that allows mental health counselors to refuse service to lgbt patients on religious grounds. in new york city, as many as 700
new york police officers and federal law enforcement agents swarmed residential neighborhoods of the bronx wednesday morning, arresting about 100 people in the largest mass arrest of suspects on -- suspected gang members in recent history. the massive operation included swat teams, police helicopters, and federal agents from the dea, the u.s. marshals and a division of immigration and customs enforcement known as hsi. police say those arrested are part of two gangs that are linked to a number of murders. but some community members questioned the operation. especially the heavy involvement of the ice agents. doris salazar of the group bronx free nyc spoke out. >> if this was a local gang rate, i worth they involved in the first -- why were they involved in the first place? they were saying, this is what bronx residents needed. it seems very suspicious. we are largely immigrant
community and, frankly, it does more to break up families than to create -- and create social unrest than the people who are arrested in the raid. amy: in baltimore, police have shot and wounded a 14-year-old african american boy carrying a toy gun on the first anniversary of the funeral of freddie gray, who died from injuries sustained in police custody. on wednesday, plainclothes police officers began chasing 14-year-old dedric colvin after they spotted him with a bb gun. police say the officers opened fire, striking him, as he ran away. his mother says he was shot in the leg and in the shoulder. he is expected to recover. this comes two days after cleveland officials agreed to pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of tamir rice, the 12-year-old african-american boy who was fatally shot by police in 2014 while playing with a toy pellet gun in a park.
and legendary filmmaker oliver stone is directing a new movie about nsa whistleblower edward snowden. this is a clip from the just-released trailer. >> how is this all possible? >> think of it as a google search. we're looking at everything. >> which people? >> the whole kingdom, snow white. >> the nsa is really tracking every cell phone in the world. >> most americans don't want freedom, they want security. >> people don't even know that may that bargain. >> are they watching us? >> there's something going on inside the government that is rely wrongand i can't ignore it. y: that's a cl of oliv stone's upcomi film "swden." stone'previousilms incde "jfk," "xon," an"born onhe four of july about t u.s. --nd "platoo"
and thosare somef the headnes. th is demoacy now! mocracyn.org, thwar and peacreport. i'm y goodmabroadcasng from northern arizona university in fgstaff. nermeen aikh in w york. nermee we begitoday's show with nm chomsk the world-rewned potical dissiden linguis author d institutprofessoemeritust the masshusetts stitute technogy, wherhe'taught r more tn half a century. noam choky has penned more than a hundred books. y: noam chomsky ske at th new yo publicibrary ang with forr greek nance minist yanis voufakis o will join us in a moment. during t event, am chomsky was askeabout beie sande' run for the white house. anbernie sanders is extremely interesting phenomenon. he is a decent, honest person.
that is pretty unusual in the political system. [laughter] maybe there are two of them in the world. [applause] but he is considered a radical and extremist, which is a pretty interesting characterization because he is basically a mainstream new deal democrat. his positions would not have surprised president eisenhower, who said, in fact, that anyone who does not accept new deal programs doesn't belong in the american political system. that is now considered very radical. the other interesting aspect of sanders' positions is there quite strongly supported by the general public and have been for a long time. it is true on taxes. it is true on health care. proposal for a national
health care system, meaning the kind of system that just about every other developed country has had half the per capita cost of the united states and comparable or better outcomes, that is considered very radical. but it has been a position of the majority of the american population for a long time. so you go back say to the -- right now, for example, the latest polls about 60% of the population favor it. when obama put through the affordable care act, there was, you recall, a public option. but that was dropped. it was dropped even though it was supported by almost two thirds of the population. you go back earlier say to the reagan years, about 70% of the population thought that national healthcare should be in the constitution because it is such an obvious right.
in fact, about 40% of the population thought it was in the constitution. [laughter] again, because it is such an obvious right. wherehave this phenomenon someone is taking positions that would have been considered pretty mainstream during the eisenhower years, that are supported by a large part often a considerable amount of the population, about his dismissed as radical and extremist. that is an indication of how the spectrum has shifted to the right during the neoliberal period. so far to the right that the contemporary democrats are pretty much what used to be called moderate republicans. the republicans are just off the spectrum. they are not a legitimate parliamentary party anymore.
and sanders has a significant part -- he has pressed the mainstream democrats a little bit for the progressive side. you see that in clinton's statements. but he has mobilized a large number of young people. these young people who are saying, look, we're not going to consent anymore. and if that turns into a continuing organized, mobilized force, that could change the country. maybe not for this election, but in the longer term. nermeen: that was noam chomsky the world-renowned political , dissident, linguist, author and professor emeritus at the massachusetts institute of technology, where he's taught for more than half a century. he spoke earlier this week at the new york public library as part of the live series along with former greek finance minister yanis varoufakis who is here in the united states promoting his new book, "and the
weak suffer what they must?: europe's crisis and america's economic future." varoufakis served as the syriza's party first finance minister after the left-wing party took power in 2015 after promoting an anti-austerity platform. amy: yanis varoufakis joins us today as the white house is backing calls for greece to continue to implement widespread austerity measures, following president obama's meeting with german chancellor angela merkel earlier this week. greece and its international creditors are once again negotiating the terms of the bailout, and the extent of the austerity measures creditors can impose. on wednesday, white house spokesperson josh earnest told reporters the administration believes greece must follow through on structural reforms. >> is there any concern within the white house about what appears to be an obvious deadlock between the creditors over the greek debt situation
and the international monetary fund? >> i don't have any detailed knowledge of the ongoing discussions. obviously, we're very supportive of the efforts that members of the eu have made to deal with the financial challenges posed by greece's finances. part of that agreement included greece following through on a number of structural reforms. and we certainly believe that greece has a responsibility to do that. nermeen: earlier this week, negotiations between greece and international creditors hit an impasse over the bankers demand for extra austerity measures. the international monetary fund is to many cutting greek pensions and eliminating income tax exemption is greece does not hit its budget targets. it is the latest impasse and years of fierce political
clashes between greece and international creditors. for more we're joined by a man who has a front row seat to these battles. former greek finance minister yanis varoufakis. he has been called the most interesting man in the world. he is also a professor economic area the university of athens and the author of more than 15 books, including most recently "and the weak suffer what they , must?: europe's crisis and america's economic future." 's booknis varoufakis takes a sweeping look at the history of the eurozone: the creation of the euro, the construction of the european central bank, the lead-up to the 2008 crisis, and what went so disastrously wrong in its wake. he served as the greek finance minister from january 2015 to the following july as a member of the anti-austerity syriza party, during which he helped lead greece's battle against european central bankers. historic referendum which greeks
voted down austerity. vote,ly days after the no verify this resigned. at the time he said, "i shall wear the creditors loathing with pride." earlier this year, he launched a new pan-european umbrella organization called democracy in europe movement 2025, or diem25. yanis varoufakis, welcome back to democracy now! it is great to have you with us. can you respond to what has happened right now with washington and germany, president obama's meeting with german chancellor angela merkel, calling for continued austerity in greece? what exactly does this mean? >> it means we have a stupendous case of the white house spokesman violating the obama line. when we were elected in january 2015, president obama came out with a splendid testament.
if i recall correctly, he said something along the lines that the prince was of the greatest austerity for the most depressed of nations needs to be re-examined. again thishave yet typical disconnect in the american administration. it is quite astonishing and saddening. on the one hand, the president is making all of the right noises. and on the other hand, his spokesman comes out and supports cruel, self-defeating, irrational, inefficient, mind blowing lee humane austerity. thew me to correct conventional wisdom held by the mainstream media. if you read or listen to all of the reports regarding the negotiations and comets between greece and its creditors, you'll hear what we heard just before
in your report, that the greek government's negotiations have stalled because supposedly the greek government athens is resisting structural reforms. but nothing could be further from the truth. the fact is, last summer in july why i'm nos is longer the finance minister. it governs by e-mail. it is simply told what to do. theproblem at the moment, reason why we have yet another impasse, yet another delay in the announcement of the great reforms and fiscal policies that will be applied to the case of depressed greece is very simple. the international monetary fund and the german government are loggerheads. they are at each other's throats. they can't see i die. the elephant in the room -- they cannot see eye-to-eye.
this is the truth. it is stepping to do with the greek government stalling on structural reforms. by the way, there are no structural reforms in question. cutting down pensions is not a reform. it is a confusing butchery for surgery. nermeen: i want to ask about the details of a discussion that wikileaks released precisely of imf officials in charge of managing the greek debt crisis. and the imfn mission chief for greece. could you talk about what was revealed in those discussions and what the significance is? >> exactly what i just said. if you read the dialogue, it is very clear. the imf people -- why? one may accuseer them of, and there is a lot to say about the imf, at least they
can add, subtract, and they know the greek debt is unsustainable. the numbers will explode, they will fail. in six months time, we will have another failure. so the imf -- wherever the imf goes, tries to impose what they refer to [indiscernible] did i doing labor, devaluing pensions, closing down small farms, small shops, pharmacies and supermarkets. liquidate, liquidate, liquidate. that means shrinkage in the economy, social economy. that is their want. the same time, they are clever enough to know when you shrink the national income and social economy of a country like greece, then you cannot expect them to repay the gargantuan debt that has been a key related.
villain.like a call it peace. the german government on the other hand, and the european commission that is acting on their behalf, since they do not want to talk about the debt because this would mean going to the federal parliament in berlin and admitting that the loans for greece from the so-called bailout loans for greece, were not loans for greece. they were bailout loans for german and french banks. and that money was never intended to come back to the germans or the portuguese taxpayers, it was always going to be money that was given from the taxpayers of europe -- initially greeks and then everybody else -- to the french and the german bankers. so they refused the imf's calls for debt relief. and now the imf, washington, d.c., and berlin are clashing. and they cannot agree. it is read the dialogue, spectacular. at some point they say, what
will it take to get the europeans -- humans berlin -- to see that it is time to cut the debt? and paul thompson's responses, we need any event. by that he meant another crisis and another bankruptcy in greece to concentrate on the minds of mrs. merkel, who is named explicitly. so this story, this illusion, this soothing myth -- soothing for the media, that the greek government has been completely and utterly exploded by the wikileaks exposure of these dialogues. austerity,s ponzi yanis varoufakis. , whatall know what ponzi a ponzi scheme is. it is when you pretend to be growing your income on the basis of unsustainable debt. and the more debt you take, the more you pretend that you're
growing. but then you have to have even more unsustainable debt in order to maintain this illusion. what is ponzi austerity? once the bubbles burst, go the way you can continue to retain your solvent is through even more debt that will be utilized in order to repay or to pretend to repay the previous debts. and if you're going through a period of belt-tightening to creditors -- doing a good protestant thing, which is to be tightening your belt -- you have austerity which continuously reduces national income. because when you're reducing investment and a man, income of the nation shrinks. and you keep tightening that belt through more pension cuts, more reductions in public health and so on and public education, and you keep on taking new,
unsustainable loans in order to pretend you're not insolvent. that is ponzi. , we'renis varoufakis going to continue this conversation after the break. former finance minister of greece, now teaching economic theory at the university of athens. his new book is titled, "and the weak suffer what they must?: europe's crisis and america's economic future." him in ae back with minute. ♪ [music break]
with our guest yanis varoufakis. nermeen: i want to turn to a senior member of german chancellor england markel's party. he was asked in february 2015 while the majority of germans were opposed to giving money to greece. government, particularly mr. varoufakis, who came up with some wordings which were not really in a way in a need ofis money, and he should not have a chancellorister or like he did. it was quite insulting of people. that is one of the reasons why the germans are pretty upset about the situation. nermeen: that was a member of anglo markel's cdu party. yanis varoufakis, could you, it on what he said about your negotiating style and its impact
on how the germans saw the greece debt crisis? >> by the way, there's no such thing as the germans. with germany you get a variety of opinion. we began our democracy in europe movement in germany. everywhere we are going in germany, we have immense support . it is a german government that saw me as a major, major inconvenience. you know what? they were very right to see me as a major inconvenience. you know why i was extremely inconvenient? because i did not want any money. what i was saying to our ,lectorate before the election that was the basis for my being elected. what i was saying to the creditors after my election was very simple. the problem is not that germany has not paid enough. germany has paid too much in a case of a big bailout. we had the largest loan in human history. the question is, what happened
to that money? it was not money for greece, it was money for the banks. the greek people took on the largest loan in human history on behalf of german and french bankers. under conditions that guaranteed that their income, our income in greece which shrank by 130, john steinbeck material -- one third of national income. it disappeared. it was impossible to repay that money. and they knew that in the first place. the only reason why they affected the so-called bailout of greece was to save their own asks and to present this solidarity with greece. my simple line was this -- we're not going to take another europe from german taxpayers, from the hard-working purple of germany, france, unless we stabilize the economy. look at it this way.
the german's housewife, the president -- protestant, what does it recommend? if you're a banker, you should not borrow more money. this is why was extremely inconvenient. i was utilizing the ethos and morality of the protestant ethic andhe spirit of capitalism through the german traditions. they could not believe that here was a greek finance minister who was not asking for more loans. can understand why the gentleman was very upset with me. amy: 91% of the bailout went to german and french tanks? >> yes. well, the first bailout. the second bailout, 100%. in the third bailout, which i did not sign, amy, it was $85 billion. of that, precisely zero will go to greece.
extendre just typical and pretend loans. what happened was simple. in 2010, the greek state went bankrupt because it was part of a common currency area, monetary union that was simply not fit to the purpose of sustaining the great financial collapse of wall street, the french bank, london, so on and so forth. there was a transfer of private sector, private bank losses onto the shoulders of the weakest of taxpayers, the greeks, knowing that those shoulders were so weak that they would not be able to sustain the burden. and that burden within be transferred to the shoulders of the german, slavic, french taxpayers. and once they did this, it is like macbeth. you commit one crime, then you have to commit a second crime to hide the fact the committed a first one. and then a third one and a fourth one, the second crime of
course was a second bailout because once the first l out makes whole the bankers, the within a few months, it becomes abundantly clear that the greek ste cannotustain i a sond predory loans enfoed upon the greek government in order to pretend that it is making his payments for the first loan, and then a third one and then a fourth one. in the worst aspect of it is these loans, which were not loans to greece, were given, extended, on condition of stringent austerity a stronger incomes. so we entered a debt deflationary cycle, great depression, with no end in sight. in the great depression which has utterly no chance of a new deal kind of solution like we had here in the united states in the 1930's, as long as the powers that be in berlin, where the white house spokesman citing himself completely with berlin,
insist that this extending and pretending shall continue. nermeen: i want to go to a short excerpt from your resignation statement last july when you famously said "i shall wear the creditors loathing with pride." in expanding your decision to leave, you wrote -- "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." so could you talk more about the decision, your decision to resign from the government and also why prime minister suppress decided to go against the will that was expressed in the referendum? >> well, it is a very sad affair.
then he it this way. we were elected to say no to the creditors. no to what? not to an agreement, to an honorable agreement, but no to the extending and continuation of the depression. the agreement that tsipras and i have is that we would be steadfast, compromise, compromise but not be compromised on this. we would not give the debt deflationary great depression cycle another spin. and we had agreed amongst ourselves if the pressure gets too much, we may even have to resign. but we're not going to be the ones that sign on the dotted line of yet another evening magnification of countries of our peoples misery and oppression. point, it became spectacularly clear that the creditors are only interested in a coup d'etat of overthrowing a government.
in 1967, when a coup d'etat in greece using the tanks and now a coup d'etat using the banks. they closed down the banks to associate -- ecstasy eight our government. you decide, yes or no. we recommend no. if you say yes, we will make way -- by the way, i did not expect them to say no. because they were being terrorized on a daily basis by the media who were saying to them that if they dare vote no, that armageddon will happen the next day and their banks were closed. t who had no access to the small bundle of savings. yet on sunday, july 5, gave us a resounding 62% no. even constituencies of the right wing that never voted for us, backed as. on that night, i was levitating
the enthusiasm because greek people had energized us. my prime minister saw things differently. he said to me in his office that night, it is time to surrender. to dissuades trying him. he was the prime minister, i wish as the finance minister so i decided to resign and go back script thisent and letter of resignation. textletter was the hardest ever had to script. on one hand, i had to register my total opposition with a prime and mr.'s decision to surrender. on the other hand, i did not want to write a letter that clashed with my comrades in france. and i phrased it in such a way as to say, the creditors clearly have been interested in my removal -- which is perfectly
understandable because they were something interested in overthrowing our government -- simply interested in overthrowing our government. the prime minister thinks he is going to get an agreement and therefore, i'm going to make his life easier by removing myself. of course, there's been no agreement. weather has been has been a complete and utter surrender which will go down in european ontory as a very black spot europe's democracy. you'll he have to read the first page of it. it reads like a genuine surrender to an enemy document. and even as we speak, is it not true even that surrender has not resulted in some kind of agreement? the imf and berlin are still loggerheads on whether they should turn greece into a stable desert or a constantly declining miserable, depressed state. this is the difference of opinion between the creditors. the greek government, once it
surrenders, simply watching the show of the two elephants hustling, waiting to be told whether we're going to be a desert or an economy in a permanent state of depression. amy: yanis varoufakis, you talk about austerity as fiscal waterboarding. explain. >> fiscal waterboarding is something quite separate from austerity. austerity is a self-defeating process. you cut government spending, you increase taxes in order to balance the government's books and you fail. why? you reduce government expenditure at the cost of running the government, but on the other hand, the economy sinks so tax take is also reduced, therefore, your books don't balance in you shrink even further so you it is a never-ending downward spiral.
fiscal waterboarding is something quite different. relationshipdatory between the creditors and the greek government. in order to push the greek government even further austerity, in order to keep her attending that the original program works, with the creditors do is this -- they have led greece a huge amount of money and greece has to make repayments every month, every year. the greek state. they cannot make these payments would have to keep borrowing from the creditors to give money back to the creditors every month, every second month to oftend that it is ahead repayment schedule. but the creditors, every second or third month, bring the greek state to the state of a 60-ish and by refusing the loans which are necessary for the greek state to repay them so that the greek state is not to cleared to be in default. so they bring the greek state to
the verge of not being able to pay pensions, not being able to a the electricity bills in schools, or to have to default to the imf, to the european central bank. then at the last moment -- this is waterboarding, isn't it? what is waterboarding? you subject the subject to a process of a 60-ish in, then you give them a gulp of oxygen and then you repeat. this is precisely what they're doing. instead of oxygen, it is liquidity. not to run the greek state, but keep giving money back so they can continue on torturing you. that is fiscal waterboarding. nermeen: i want to ask about something that you wrote about about the question of impact of the financial is asian of the economy. you called the u.s. economy in the book a minotaur. could you explain what you mean by that and how u.s.
financialization helped lead to the 2008 crash, and whether anything has changed since in your view? >> in brief, after the second world war, the new deal is in power. even the eisenhower administration -- they design a global system, a global economic system which was remarkable in its design, audacity, and rationality to large extent. the new deal was we polarized the whole of the capitalist world, maybe in britain that house and in france they have frnacs, but they're all linked to the dollar. the dollar is the link to capitalism. in addition to that, you have the united states of america taking part of its surpluses and monetizing, dollarizing europe and japan, helping them out
because they understood that unless you take surpluses from where they are produced to give them to -- to channel them, to funnel them to create incomes which are necessary to keep buying american goods in order to replenish and recycle the american surpluses, the whole system will the longer be sustainable. at that system ended with the famous nixon shock. why? because america lost its surpluses. le surplusescyc unless do have them. then we moved to the u.s. homogenate which was exactly the opposite of the first. instead of recycling its own surpluses, it was recycling other people's surpluses. how did it do it? by means of the united states trade deficit. the trade deficit of the u.s. which was ever-expanding,
operated as a huge vacuum cleaner that was sucking into the united states the net exports of japan, germany, china, saudi arabia, oil and so on and so forth. how was it paying for it? happening keep expanding our deficit? if you are the united states, you can as long as you create circumstances that attract the profits of the german firms, the japanese firms, the saudis, the chinese firms into wall street. and you close the circle. the what happens when you give wall street if you billion dollars every 10 minutes to play with? and allate instruments those pitiful voice of financialization to make it really expand exponentially and create their own money innocence. as long as that worked to stabilize a very unstable global capitalism am a we had this semblance, this illusion --
remember the great moderation of ben bernanke? it was the most and moderate capitalist world, but it seemed moderate because you have this recycling. you had capital flowing into wall street, constantly pain for the expanding trade deficit in the united states. but it financial is private money that does become busted under the weight of their own hubris. in 2008. ever since, the global economy is in disarray. amy: yanis varoufakis, i want to turn to a clip of your conversation that you had this week at the new york public nypl.ry, live at the interestinge more moments in the history of science and scholarship was actually in 2008, as you know,
for decades, economists had been claiming with extreme arrogance understoodmpletely how to control and manage an economy. there were fundamental principles like the efficient market hypothesis, rational expectations. and anyone who did not accept this was dismissed as a kind of strange kind of moron. the whole system collapsed. the whole intellectual edifice collapsed in a most amazing fashion, and had no effect on the profession. >> none at all. well, it had the effect that sometimes when we are driving on a freeway and i usually go well above the speed limit, condemn me if you will, and i get stopped by the police. for the next 20 minutes, i drive below the speed limit.
it doesn't last more than0 minutes. after a while, i go back to where was. this is like the economic profession. they had a brief moment of dust >> some do. >> of being humble, keeping the heads under the carpet for a bit. but within 20 minutes, they forgot about it and teaching the same rubbish to their students. amy: that is the former finance minister of greece yanis varoufakis speaking with m.i.t. professor emeritus noam chomsky earlier this week at the new york public library. we're going to go to break. when we come back, we're going to talk to professor yanis varoufakis about the refugee crisis, about why he thinks greece -- germany is doing this to greece and what does france have to do with it. and more about his new book called, "and the weak suffer what they must?: europe's crisis and america's economic future."
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. i am in flagstaff, arizona, part of our 100 city tour. nermeen shaikh is in new york in the studios with yanis varoufakis, the former finance minister of greece who resigned over austerity. aboutn: i want to ask now one of the issues you raised in the book and also what brings greece into the news more often
now, which is the refugee crisis, an issue you also discuss in the book will stop you have spoken in particular about the greek grandmother who is been welcoming refugees into her home in the village of idomeni. she is 82-year-old panagiota vasileiadou. she was featured recently in a video by the u.n.'s refugee agency, the unhcr. >> i have company in the house. i talked, we laugh, although we don't understand each other. nermeen: this grandmother also cooks for the refugees every day. the children call her mama. in this clip from last july, just over a week after you resigned, a syrian migrant on the greek island of lesbos decried the conditions in the refugee camp in especially strong language. to theun from the death
death. we find death at each step in our way. we ran from the death in our country, to fight death in the sea, and read from the death and the sea to find a here in the camp. nermeen: but the town officials said they were unable to address the situation, especially amid the country's financial turmoil. this is the mayor of mytilini speaking last july. >> international community, european union, the red cross, the u.n. have given me a bomb to hold in my hands and the fuse is burning very slowly. and i am desperately crying for help to blow out the fuse, but they're waiting for the bomb to explode before coming to our aid. amy: can you talk about the refugee crisis in greece and also the so-called hot-spots, registration centers for refugees which you have talked about? >> george orwell would be very, very proud of europe and our capacity for doublespeak in
creating new terms by which to hide the awful reality. when you see the word "hotspots" translated to concentration camps. it is or is simple. the greek government has been steadily pressurized by the effectively,n to in turn, the refugees. -- not treating them like human beings in need of support and food and medicine, and need of psychological assistance. they're going to be treated according to brussels as illegals, aliens that are going hotspotslosed in those , concentration camps. i have on good authority from the greek government that the pressure is tremendous. the greek government, which is, of course, fiscally, completely,
and utterly -- is being told, the only way you're going to get moneis if you intern them. if you let them loose, you're not going toet anoth pen cap feed them. we have a mnificentrray of ngos and volunteers who are looking after the refugees. the greek state is in a state of disarray because it just cannot afford even to look after the greeks who are suffering along seven-year-old or seven year-long great depression. they're trying to do something, but is being pushed by europe to treat inhumanely this refugees. but more generally, look, this is not the big problem. europe is large enough. it is rich enough. we should be able to handle this refugee crisis humanely, efficiently without this even being something we discuss.
let me remind our audience, something that most people have forgotten. when the iron curtain cme down in 1991, greece, which was never a rich country, we accepted one million refugees within a few months. half of albania moved to greece. do you know what happened? nothing. it was all fine. their kids come to the university where i teach. they are amongst some of my best students. greece has become enriched. our culture has become stronger. our food has become even better. if a country like greece can accept refugees like that in a few months, and be stronger as a , europe should accept these refugees. like angela merkel said when she was vetoed by her own party and her own supporters. is, the european
union is to send a grating under its postmodern 1930's. this is what we have experienced in the last 10 years due to the economic crisis. amy: i want to ask you, yanis varoufakis, is greece being used as an example by germany, kind of warning to france? >> oh, and economic realm, no doubt about that. amy, one of the wonderful aspects, few wonderful aspects, of having served for 5, 6 months sitting on the electric chair of the finance minister of greece, was that for the first time in my life, i did not have to theorize about these issues. i was told. german officials of the highest , to answer your question in the affirmative. they said exquisitely, how can we let you off the hook when we want the truck the to go to paris and rain in the french national budget? so a proud nation like the greeks is being used as collateral damage.
it's misery is been used as a signal to france that it cannot have cake and eat it. i that what i mean, and the germans -- the german elites have a point of sorts. the french elite always wanted to roll over europe, to determine -- to be the administrators of europe using german monetary to do so. they are smacking them by smacking greece, unfortunately, and pushing the greek nation into an awful, frightful recession. when europe uses whole populations as instruments for the pursuit of 19th-century-like power politics, you know there's something deeply rotten in the kingdom of europe. when you add the refugee crisis on top of that, the centrifugal forces for the loathing attitude, that not in my back yard kind of mentality that the
economic conflict has caused, itself onto the refugees and treating them as a bad the news to be thrown off one's backyard and on december the else's backyard, and the result is a complete loss of europe's integrity. nermeen: before we conclude, you have talked about the rise of right-wing parties and in greece, golden dawn in particular, as becoming worse as the economic crisis worsen. could you talk about the impact of golden dawn and its recent expansion ring does expanding power? >> it is everywhere in europe. you have the party in britain. vienna, austria in
beautiful city of vienna, 42% voted for the neofascist party in the last municipal election and last week -- no miko we have 30 seconds. >> great depression, national human valuation, put them together like in the 19 20's in germany, and you end up with the serpents egg hatching. , i do havevaroufakis to ask a question about that song we played. was it about your wife? can we settle it once and for all? >> you may very well say, i could not possibly comment. you may very well say this, but i could not possibly comment. amy: i thank you for being with us, yanis varoufakis, former finance minister of greece, and a professor of economic theory at the university of athens. his new book is tled, "and the weak suffer what they must?: weak suffer what they must?: europe's crisis and america'