We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
The former Greek finance minister wants legal advice used by then former European Central Bank president Mario Draghi to be made public. The Italian central banker was said to have used the information to underpin a threat to freeze vital funding to Greek banks during the 2015 debt crisis. The ultimatum was a major catalyst in Athen’s decision to cave in during tense bailout negotiations with its lenders, Mr Varoufakis has argued.
In 2016, Mr Draghi said he wouldn’t disclose the documentation because of his “obligation to protect” the identity of the private law firm.
After collecting 30,000 signatures, Mr Varoufakis took his battle to Luxembourg, challenging the ECB’s decision in front of EU judges.
Last year the European Court of Justice ruled the Frankfurt-based bank was right to withhold the document in order to protect its “space to think”.
But yesterday the EU’s General Court upheld an appeal in favour of Mr Varofakis against its original decision.
Advocate General Priit Pikamae said: “In my view, the General Court erred in law in holding that the ECB was entitled, in such circumstances, to refuse access to the document at issue.”
The case is now back under consideration with a judgement pending on whether the ECB must finally disclose the documents.
Mr Varoufakis has since pressed Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to join his transparency campaign.
Mr Varoufakis wrote: “Do you agree that European citizens have the right to know whether it was legal for a private law firm to advise on the suspension of liquidity in an EU member states’ banking system?
“Do you realise that the publication of this opinion strengthens the position of your government in view of pressures that you will soon accept the fifth memorandum?
“Will you support the legal case that German MP Fabio De Masi and myself have took to the European Court so that European citizens can see for themselves who planned the close of our banks that resulted in capital controls during three months back in 2015?”
Mr Varoufakis spent a tumultuous term as Greece’s finance minister in the first half of 2015.
MUST READ: EU crisis: Yanis Varoufakis in ‘death knell’ warning
He appeared to revel in upsetting the country’s creditors while trying to renegotiate its crushing debts.
Many Greeks blamed the radical economist for deepening their economic woes, and he was eventually sacked after Alexis Tsipras, the former prime minister, intervened in the talks.
Mr Tsipras eventually agreed a third and harsher package of budget cuts to secure a refinancing deal for Greece.
Francois hits back at Michel Barnier’s claim Brexit has no added value [REPORT]
EU announce €5 billion Brexit fund to protect worst-hit member states [INSIGHT]
EU on the brink: Dutch ‘punching above their weight’ and risk crisis [ANALYSIS]
Since his sacking Mr Varoufakis has been a vocal critic of European austerity and such measures imposed on countries to secure EU funding.
His new anti-austerity movement, MeRA25, won its first seats in the Greek parliament last July.
But he has since been mocked for living an extravagant lifestyle despite having asked Greeks to adopt “humble and frugal” lifestyles during the financial crisis.
Source: Read Full Article