Yanis Varoufakis, the self-described “erratic Marxist” who took Greece to the brink of a Euro zone exit by battling creditors over the conditions for a bailout, has got a new role: advising Britain’s opposition Labour Party.
The former finance minister who shuns neckties and says the EU is falling apart will advise Labour due to his negotiating experience during the Euro zone debt crisis, said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
“I think the way Greece has been treated is terrible and we should reach out to them,” Corbyn, who has taken the party of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown further to the left since he became leader in 2015, told the Islington Tribune.
“Varoufakis is interesting, because he has obviously been through all the negotiations (with the ECB, European Commission and the International Monetary Fund),” Corbyn was quoted as telling his local London newspaper.
A spokesman for the Labour Party said Varoufakis would take part in a lecture series to discuss his experiences and offer advice on Labor Party policy “in an attempt to raise the level of public debate on economics and policy making.”
In six months as Greece’s finance minister, the British-educated economist infuriated Euro zone colleagues by opposing the terms for a Greek bailout.
As Greece tumbled towards what some investors feared would be a disorderly exit from the euro, Varoufakis engaged some colleagues in political discussion on the economic theory behind the bailout terms while publicly criticizing the Euro zone.
He resigned in July 2015 shortly before Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras eventually finally agreed terms to avoid being bounced out of the common currency.
“We both want to see an economic strategy around anti-austerity, and we’re both very concerned about the activities and power of the European Central Bank,” Corbyn, 66, said.