Dalkey Literary Awards - 20th June 2020
Dalkey Literary Awards - 20th June 2020

Yanis Varoufakis: negotiating for the right to negotiate

Grateful to be in St Patrick’s Church out of the wet and the cold, some slightly bedraggled Bloomsday revellers.

David has begun introducing the next guest speaker as a “a reluctant politician” of extraordinary bravery, who’s made his way onto the stage in a blazer and a fuchsia pink t-shirt complete with Greece-fresh tan.

Wasting no time, David begins the discussion in the wonderful surrounding of St Patrick’s Church by addressing the state of the EU. “It’s in a state of quite advanced stage of disintegration. Much like our sound system.”

After a little whistling of the microphone we’re back.

David brings the conversation back to the Greek bailout, and asks Yanis about the negotiations.

“We were negotiating for the right to negotiate. But we didn’t get there.”


Yanis is talking about the tough stance he had to take against the Troika and the bailout plans.

“We had constant payment to the IMF during the time that I was in charge of the ministry. People in the Troika knew that we were going to face the anti-human dilemma of paying off the IMF or paying off our pensions. And between the 27th of January and June the Troika proposed nothing, “I didn’t get a single A4 page of proposal.”


Yanis is talking about the impossibility of “talking to the Troika” and quotes Kissinger – “When I want to talk to Europe I don’t know who to call.”


David is stoking the flames. “You had a situation where the Greek government is having to bow to the technocratic bureaucrats.”