Democracy (Ep. 31)
“Our enemy is apathy.” –Yanis Varoufakis In 2015 today’s guests were propelled onto the global stage by their efforts to take on the European banking establishment and restructure the Greek government’s financial system. For 5 months they worked to negotiate alternatives to further austerity measures; trying to extend loans while moving Greece toward a more solvent state. Their efforts to confront the Eurozone and proceed democratically to carry out the wishes of the Greek people were ultimately defeated, but it was this battle lost that was the impetus of their current endeavor—to reform Europe and institute a transnational, pan-European democracy called DiEM25 –Democracy in Europe Movement. Yanis Varoufakis is the former finance minister of Greece, author of Adults in the Room: My Battle With the European and American Deep Establishment, and co-founder of the DiEM25 –Democracy in Europe Movement. James K. Galbraith is an eminent economist, an assistant to Mr. Varoufakis while he was the Greek finance minister, and he chronicled his time in Greece with the book Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice: The Destruction of Greece and the Future of Europe. They were in Austin for a conference on Democratic Reform in Europe at the LBJ School for Public Affairs.