As discussions continue to take place between the Greek government and the country’s lenders, Greece’s economic crisis is showing no signs of abating. Meanwhile, new cuts to pensions, wages and social services are currently on the table. Unemployment remains at record levels, while large-scale privatizations of profitable publicly owned assets are moving forward to appease the demands of Greece’s lenders.
While some economists, like Greece’s former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, have proposed the introduction of a “parallel” or dual currency as a solution for Greece, others disagree. Economist Dimitris Kazakis is the general secretary of Greece’s United Popular Front (EPAM), a party founded out of the mass protests that took place in Greece in 2011, but that remains on the sidelines of Greek politics, with no parliamentary representation.
Kazakis objects to the dual currency proposal and instead calls for Greece to depart from the eurozone and European Union (EU), and to unilaterally write off its debt. In this interview, he presents his proposals and explains why the introduction of a parallel currency is not a solution, while also discussing the recent leaks of International Monetary Fund (IMF) discussions regarding the Greek crisis and the firm positions of the IMF and the EU vis-à-vis Greece.
Michael Nevradakis: What is your reaction to the recent leaks of IMF discussions regarding Greece and the ongoing so-called negotiations that are taking place?
Dimitris Kazakis: The leaks did not reveal anything new. Everyone knows the IMF’s positions and the manner in which they operate. Despite this, I do believe that the leaks were authorized in advance, and they had to do with the fact that Germany fiercely opposes the IMF’s proposal for a large write-off of Greece’s debt and for a greater emphasis to be placed on a different set of so-called “reforms,” which would have more to do with privatizations and the selling of the…