ex-Greek finance minister Varoufakis offers to help Corbyn draw up his economic blueprint
That’s all Labour needs: Now ex-Greek finance minister Varoufakis offers to help Corbyn draw up his economic blueprint
By MATT CHORLEY, POLITICAL EDITOR FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 16:59, 13 September 2015 | UPDATED: 18:26, 13 September 2015
Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis today offered to help new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn draw up his economic blueprint.
Mr Corbyn stormed to a landslide victory on the back of his hardline opposition to spending cuts and call for billions more in borrowing.
He has claimed Labour should learn from the lessons in Greece, where the leftwing Syriza took power earlier this year on a promise to end austerity and stand up to Brussels.
Mr Varoufakis was a controversial figure in the Syriza government before his resignation in July, describing Greece’s creditors as terrorists.
However, Mr Corbyn has hailed the rise of the hardleft across Europe as proof the same could happen in the UK.
Speaking at an event at the Trade Union Congress in Brighton, Mr Varoufakis congratulated Mr Corbyn on his victory and offered to give him economic advice.
‘I’m here to learn from your experiences in the context of the sea change we have seen,’ he said in remarks reported by the Telegraph.
‘Britain, even though it disdains this particular dimension of its nature, is an essential part of Europe and Europe is in trouble. It has been in trouble for a while.’
Despite heavily criticising Brussels demands for tax rises and spending cuts, the Greek government has since been forced to accept three bailout deals despite opposition from dozens of Syriza MPs.
Just last week Mr Varoufakis claimed he shares ‘many’ view with Mr Corbyn and even suggested they protested together against the Thatcher government.
He told The Conversation: ‘The similarity that I feel at liberty to mention is that Corbyn and I, probably, coincided at many demonstrations against the Tory government while I lived in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s.’
He added: ‘[We] share many views regarding the calamity that befell working Britons as power shifted from manufacturing to finance.’
In January, Mr Corbyn appeared in Parliament to urge David Cameron to congratulate on their election victory.
The Labour MP said there were lessons to be learned from why ‘the people of Greece have finally said no to the imposition of the most appalling austerity, the destruction of their public services, high levels of unemployment, and deepening poverty’.
His manifesto for the Labour leadership included the renationalisation of the railways and energy firms, a 7 per cent rise in national insurance for people earning mre than £50,000 and an end to austerity while printing billions of pounds in ‘people’s quantitative easing’ to fund housing, energy and transport projects.
The Tories have warned the plans pose a threat to the nation’s economy.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said yesterday: ‘Labour are now a serious risk to our nation’s security, our economy’s security and your family’s security.
‘Whether it’s weakening our defences, raising taxes on jobs and earnings, racking up more debt and welfare or driving up the cost of living by printing money – Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party will hurt working people.
‘This is a very serious moment for our country – the Conservatives will continue to deliver stability, security and opportunity for working people.’