Mirabile dictu: Greece did prepare Drachma

Yanis Varafoukis is not finished it seems, from ekathimerini:

Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has claimed that he was authorized by Alexis Tsipras last December to look into a parallel payment system that would operate using wiretapped tax registration numbers (AFMs) and could eventually work as a parallel banking system, Kathimerini has learned.

In a teleconference call with members of international hedge funds that was allegedly coordinated by former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont, Varoufakis claimed to have been given the okay by Tsipras last December – a month before general elections that brought SYRIZA to power – to plan a payment system that could operate in euros but which could be changed into drachmas “overnight” if necessary, Kathimerini understands.

Varoufakis worked with a small team to prepare the plan, which would have required a staff of 1,000 to implement but did not get the final go-ahead from Tsipras to proceed, he said.

…The plan would involve hijacking the AFMs of taxpayers and corporations by hacking into General Secretariat of Public Revenues website, Varoufakis told his interlocutors. This would allow the creation of a parallel system that could operate if banks were forced to close and which would allow payments to be made between third parties and the state and could eventually lead to the creation of a parallel banking system, he said.

…”[Wolfgang] Schaeuble, the finance minister of Germany, is hell-bent on effecting a Grexit so nothing is over. But let me be very specific and very precise on this. The prime minister before he became PM, before we won the election in January, had given me the green light to come up with a Plan B.

Greek opposition parties are demanding an explanation, from Reuters:

The center-right New Democracy party and the centrist To Potami and the Socialist Pasok parties, which all backed Tsipras in parliamentary votes on the bailout this month, demanded a response to the reports.

“The revelations that are coming out raise a major political, economic and moral issue for the government which needs in-depth examination,” it said in a statement.

“Is it true that a designated team in the finance ministry had undertaken work on a backup plan? Is it true they had planned to raid the national Mint and that they prepared for a parallel currency by hacking the tax registration numbers of the taxpayers?”

To Potami said the reports of covert plans were worthy of a bad thriller.

How utterly absurd. This news only shows that Syriza weren’t completely insane and treasonous in negotiating with Europe with no fallback plan.

Houses and Holes
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  1. Thery should have been all prepared and done it! Tsipras’ ‘Game Theory’ must have been like a contact sport coach who got everything worked out on paper but doesn’t get his players physically ready. The outcome is a disaster.
    Their oppurtunity has now gone for 12 months and, given what they have now handed over, may not come again.
    I just can’t help feeling Tsipras has been a complete loser.

    • Yes that is how I see it as well. For all the talk the result is likely to be as bad if not worse than if they had just stuck with the previous parties. I guess we still need to see what will be the final negotiated deal?

  2. Syriza is just one another fake left party that works for the same masters as all the other ruling parties in fake democracies

  3. Greece should merge with Iceland. There will be a revolution in Greece at some point. If the Eurocrates there will be a southern European Spring with Italy, Spain, Portugal…When people feel powerless what choice do they have? What a disaster.

  4. Completely agree. Varoufakis claims they did not proceed because, once the plan went from 5 people to 100 people, it would inevitably “leak out”. But, in that case, why didn’t they just impose the 60 Euro withdrawal limit and other banking constraints themselves, instead of waiting for the ECB to do it?

    • The Patrician

      +1 This all came out in the Phillip Adams interview weeks ago.
      Apparently Varoufakis then came up with a plan “C” to print Euros. YV says they have a machine that can print 20 Euro notes.

    • The problem with leaks wasn’t so much a bank run problem but a political problem. If the Eurogroup thought Syriza wasn’t committed to staying in the Euro or that there was an alternative they would stop looking at the much harder problem of fixing the Euro and keeping Greece on board.
      I agree with them. If there was any talk of Grexit by Greece then there was no point trying to negotiate. It was either go all in for the Euro or get out ASAP.
      Having an emergency plan for when talks finally died was a good idea but the secrecy was wise. Sadly when the time came Tsipras either wimped out or sold out. Will find out which over the next few months.