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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 17 January 2015
NEWS 2 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 17 JANUARY 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Varoufakis answers SYRIZA’s call Political economist made an offer he can’t refuse MICHAEL SWEET Yanis Varoufakis, perhaps the most recognisable global commentator on the Greek crisis, shared his thoughts - and fears - this week on becoming a SYRIZA candidate in the Greek election. Varoufakis - of dual Greek and Australian citizenship and Professor of Economic Theory at the University of Athens - has analysed the reasons for Greece's economic turmoil since the crisis began; a situation which he lays squarely at the door of the troika's "cynical" bailout terms and a failure of the Greek government to contest enforced austerity measures. If SYRIZA wins at the polls next Sunday there's little doubt that Varoufakis will play a role in attempting to implement SYRIZA's radical economic agenda - which includes debt renegotiation and cancelling the austerity measures which underpin Greece's 240 billion euro bailout. Speaking to Russia Today this week, Varoufakis admitted that his arrival in the political arena (he will run in Athens' B' Athinon electorate - a sprawling, largely working-class constituency) was the result of an offer he simply couldn't refuse. "Alexis Tsipras invited me, if there is a SYRIZA government, to participate in an attempt to implement the policies I have been advocating," said the former University of Sydney lecturer. "For five years now I've been putting forward alternative proposals to the ones that have been implemented. "It was morally and politi- cally impossible to turn down such an offer, even though I dread it." On announcing his candidature, Varoufakis said his greatest fear was that he would turn into a politician. "As an antidote to that virus, I intend to write my resignation letter and keep it in my inside pocket, ready to submit it the moment I sense signs of losing the commitment to speak truth to power." “It was morally and politically impossible to turn down such an offer, even though I dread it.” Confidante of Varoufakis, Melbourne University professor Nikos Papastergiadis, told Neos Kosmos that his friend's reticence to engage in Greek politics was a good sign. A dog’s instinct Despite not knowing how to swim, instinct took Nick Papadopoulos a long way, saving four people from drowning I got there." When Nick Papadopoulos was setting up his fishing rod, he didn't think he would soon be leaping into the water to save four people from drowning. However, along with those saved on the day, Mr Papadopoulos was one of the lucky ones, considering he doesn't know how to swim. Earlier this month at Carrum Bay, known to be a tranquil swimming spot, the 31-yearold reported hearing screaming. Instantly he was jerked into action, running down a 10 metre rock wall towards the water where he saw the victims - a father and three girls, all under the age of 10, being sucked into the deep channel. Thankfully not alone, another gentleman passing by the scene helped Mr Papadopoulos swim out to the victims, assisting him in bringing them back to safety. "It was like instinct, like a puppy," he told the Herald Sun. "You throw a puppy in and they start doing doggy paddle. I was kicking all fours but Life savers in action at Carrum Surf Life Saving Club. PHOTO: DANIELLE SMITH. He recalls reaching the oldest girl, who was the furthest away. Urging her to swim towards him, she cried in distress, "I'm dying, I'm dying, please help me". "Before I got any closer I said 'please don't drown me' in a soft voice. That stopped her and calmed her down so she could grab on to me," he said. Although many are calling him crazy for jumping into the water while not knowing how to swim, the Carrum Surf Life Saving Club thanked Mr Papadopoulos for his act of bravery, offering him free swimming lessons at the club. Despite the positive outcome of the rescue, the event does not come without warning. Swimmers are bring urged to be extra careful whether at a surf or bayside beach, and to take note of any warning signs. "It's when people are complacent that they get into the most trouble," said club secretary, Ben Rooks. Additionally, anyone setting out to rescue someone who appears to be in danger is reminded that they should not be putting their own life at risk. Source: Herald Sun "I don't doubt he's doing this reluctantly, but that's the best kind of politician. The one who does it with zealousness and enthusiasm, you suspect their motivations may be anything but pure." "He's squeaky clean and he represents this intellectual, more moral, enlightened approach towards politics." While Varoufakis was a former advisor to PASOK, Papastergiadis says running for Greece's once dominant social-democratic party would never have been an option. "Yanis was close to Papandreou, but he would have never considered running for PASOK. With SYRIZA it's a different historical moment." Speaking to Neos Kosmos this week, Helena Smith, The Guardian's correspondent in Athens, said that Varoufakis had every chance of electoral success. "B' Athinon is considered very tough to win a seat in, but I am told by the best of sources that his superstar Yanis Varoufakis: Greece’s next finance minister? status in popularising the economy for ordinary Greeks will ensure that he does get elected." Varoufakis' consistent line in recent months has been to say that while the Greek state has managed to eliminate the country's primary deficit - "at huge expense and social cost to the population", Greece's insolvency will remain until European-wide reforms and the EU's "fiscal water-boarding" are challenged. "The EU and the IMF, in PHOTO: ABC. their wisdom, decided to unload a very large loan upon very weak Greek shoulders on condition of austerity that shrinks income. So extend and pretend," said the potential SYRIZA finance minister. "And as we all know with the 'extend and pretend' strategy, you don't overcome bankruptcy, you deepen it, and project it into the future. "We now have the possibility of redemption on the 25th of January with a new government." Kosmos’ dictaphone saga ends The senior ALP official escapes charges over theft and illegal distribution The Baillieu tape scandal has been hovering over Labor's head since last June, jeopardising its election campaign. Assistant state secretary of the Labor Party, Kosmos Samaras, who publicly admitted to snooping the dictaphone from the lost property at the May state conference, downloading and listening to it, will not be charged for his actions. “The recommendation was that no charges be laid in relation to this matter," Victoria Police said in a statement on Wednesday. Kosmos Samaras allegedly shared the dictaphone's content, which featured former premier's Ted Baillieu's conversation with certain Liberal Party members. Samaras, worried about Baillieu's attempt to destabilise Napthine, played the recording to Daniel Andrews' chief of staff John McLindon and Labor state secretary Noah Carroll. Up to now neither of them admits dis- tributing said dictaphone, which was owned by Sunday Age state political editor Farrah Tomazin. Editor-in-chief of The Age, Andrew Holden, said he was surprised by the OPP's advice. "When you have someone who confesses publicly that he took possession of a dictaphone that was not his, listened to it, downloaded and played the recordings to others, and then destroyed the recorder - all in clear contravention of the law - then I would have thought he would face the consequences, even if that led to diversion," Mr Holden said. Mr Holden found it particularly galling when three Age reporters were charged over their accessing of an Australian Labor Party database after being given the password by a concerned member, with one of those reporters and his family subjected to a police raid of their home, when that supposed crime had no victims. "Fortunately, they were granted diversion by a magistrate, but they still had to endure the full processes of court," Holden continued. "The ALP's Kosmos Samaras should consider himself a very lucky man." Mr Andrews, on the other hand, who had initially de- The ALP’s assistant state secretary, Kosmos Samaras. nied any Labor involvement, has previously said that he was satisfied with his own inquiries. "From my perspective that is the end of the matter," acting premier James Merlino said, stressing that the story involves issues which were widely canvassed, yet investigated and a decision has been made by the authorities who "have done their job".
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