Varoufakis founds network to save EU

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has founded a new left-wing network to democratise the EU. With his "DiEM25" initiative he aims to prevent the Union from breaking up into individual nation states. Commentators are torn between hope and scepticism.

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Duma (BG) /

Hope for struggling EU

The European Union is in deep crisis and urgently needs a restart, the socialist daily Duma writes, hoping that Varoufakis will be able to provide this:

“The division of Europe into an all-powerful West and the subjugated East has long been a fact. And the North is getting richer while the South gets poorer. The disintegration is in full swing. Equality and integration in the name of prosperity for all European citizens has become an illusion. … Europe needs a restart. … Perhaps the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis will be able to show the Europeans that democracy in Europe can't just work on paper. There are great hopes, and the opposition of those who want to stop this process will be all the greater because of that. ”

Público (PT) /

Vital debate about Europe's institutions

Greek politician Yanis Varoufakis hopes to unite several protest movements under the banner of his "Democracy in Europe Movement 2025". The liberal daily Público praises the initiative:

“The manifesto full of apocalyptic predictions for Europe's future has two advantages: at a time when frightening phenomena are occurring everywhere (like the rise of anti-system and anti-European parties) it launches an awkward but vital debate about Europe's institutions. And for the short term it proposes interesting changes aimed at increasing the transparency of the EU's decision-making processes. … Varoufakis is calling for stronger European integration, but also for more guarantees of sovereignty for each EU member state.”

taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

All Varoufakis can do is talk

Varoufakis's new movement stands little chance of contributing to a better Europe, the left-leaning daily taz believes:

“Yannis Varoufakis was and is the dream of all those on the left who still believe they can create something entirely new. Yes, they say they want to change the world. But they fail because while maintaining that they believe in solidarity what they really want is privileges for themselves. ... Far from being a new departure to modern heights, Varoufakis's manifesto betrays the sort of woeful sectarianism the German left has seen all too often in the past. Whether powerlessness or megalomania is behind this pseudo-political impetus, Varoufakis certainly won't be the man who keeps gambling with Europe's future. This continent was built by politicians who could do more than talk; not by his sort.”