Greece: Why No ‘Plan B’, Mr. Varoufakis?

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-8Does anyone else wonder how it is that Greece and Syriza seem to have no “Plan B”: leaving the euro, Grexit, and returning to the drachma? Like millions of men and women around the world, interest in the situation in Greece leading up to the historic “Oxi” vote on Sunday July 5 has led to reading a good number of articles and listening to reports. Recently resigned Greece Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis posted a short radio interview on his personal blog days before the July 5 vote, on July 2:

http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/07/02/why-a-no-vote-in-the-referendum-is-a-yes-for-a-proud-greece-in-a-decent-europe-talking-with-phillip-adams-on-lnl-abc-radio-national/

What stood out and astonished during the radio interview was Mr. Varoufakis’ talking about how European nations, upon agreeing to use the euro, were required to destroy/get rid of their drachma, lira, peso, franc, etc. printing presses. The first question which came to mind after hearing him say that was “How can he be saying that Greece hasn’t made certain to obtain printing presses to produce drachmas?” While thinking it was naive and perhaps ridiculous to make the following suggestion in a comment at Mr. Varoufakis’ blog on the printing press issue, but, since the interview didn’t reveal possible solutions, the following comment was entered:

(Note: Copy/paste from the actual post – Interesting that “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”… the comment apparently wasn’t ok’d/published)

Jerry “Peacemaker” on July 3, 2015 at 02:42 said:Your comment is awaiting moderation.

“Extremely interesting to hear that upon joining the eurozone, member states were required to dispose of their printing presses. That made certain eurozone states would find it difficult to return to their traditional sovereign currency – as enchained, captive “customers” and borrowers.
 Before joining the eurozone Greece printed and used the drachma, and the men and women who were employed in the printing of the Greek national currency obviously have the experience and knowledge of how to resurrect drachma-printing and Greece’s return to sovereign money.The people of Greece, of any nation, can choose control over their monetary affairs instead of persisting in giving that immense power away to a small group of private profit-seeking interests – who reside far away from Greece. Consult the men and women who understand drachma-printing from actually having done it, find the printing presses, and return to pre-euro sovereign money status.”

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So, where are you going with this, Jerry? First, it is almost beyond comprehension to explain, if true, that Syriza with Yanis Varoufakis as Finance Minister made no arrangements, all arrangements, for a potential Grexit and return to the drachma as Greece’s currency. After learning of the no-drachma-printing presses issue, left a comment at the popular blog for economists: “Real-World Economics Review” – with a link to the radio interview and the question “Does anyone know where there are some good, reliable drachma printing presses?” (comment ok’d and posted):

https://rwer.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/why-we-recommend-a-no-in-the-referendum-in-6-short-bullet-points/

In sharing that comment, the intent was to convey the absolutely inexplicable, mind-blowing fact that Greece officials evidently did not have the physical equipment, supplies, personnel, etc. to print drachmas – a real and possibly imminent, urgent eventuality, and one that seemed completely overlooked?!

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Why the comment at Yanis Varoufakis’ blog wasn’t posted/made public on July 3, what effect economists at RWER who clicked the link and listened to the interview had in eventually concentrating focus/raising the printing press issue (Mr. Varoufakis resigned after Sunday’s “Oxi” vote, to the surprise of most observers), and why Mr. Varoufakis didn’t order – immediately upon becoming Finance Minister – purchase of necessary equipment for printing drachmas…. are questions which will become answered in time.

The thought that Mr. Varoufakis may have intentionally avoided preparations and planning for a possible scenario where the printing of drachmas was necessary never came to mind, until listening to journalist/author William Engdahl in the following interview – which occurred after Mr. Varoufakis resigned. Mr. Engdahl and host Ian R. Crane suggest that Mr. Varoufakis, by failing to make certain the Greece government had a workable “Plan B” should negotiations sour to the point of exiting the eurozone, is perhaps guilty of high treason.

Mr. Engdahl points out that Yanis Varoufakis was, in his view, a “Trojan Horse” who made sure there was no “Plan B”, and gave him credit for “doing his job of pretending to be a liberal”, giving Europeans and Greeks an impression of Greek government incompetence.

It’s hard to argue with William Engdahl’s analysis. Upon listening to the radio interview where Yanis Varoufakis talked about having no drachma printing presses, most listeners were probably shocked and perplexed that such an obvious potentiality hadn’t been accounted for.

Greeks’ return to the drachma would most likely lead to a domino-effect of nations in the eurozone – and around the Earth – emulating Greece and taking sovereign control of their monetary systems.

That means truly enormous, unprecedented, historic global change.

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William Engdahl article:

http://journal-neo.org/2015/07/03/what-stinks-about-varoufakis-and-the-whole-greek-mess/

(Thank you to Ian R Crane at YouTube)

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