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Greek ex-finance minister warns Spain of Greece’s fate

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The AFP photo shows Greece’s former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis during a meeting at the Greek Parliament in Athens, July 15, 2015.

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has warned Spain of “becoming Greece” if the country adopts similar austerity measures as Athens did in return for international bailout packages.

The former Greek minister made the remarks during an interview with the Spanish daily El Pais, published on Sunday.

“The danger of becoming Greece is always there and it will become reality if the same mistakes that were imposed on Greece are repeated,” Varoufakis said.

He called on Spaniards to evaluate their country’s needs after looking at “their own economic and social situation.”

The warning by Varoufakis came following Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s recent move to cite the financial crisis in Greece in order to promote the Spanish government’s crisis management plan before key general elections expected to be held by the end of the year.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy speaks during a press conference following the council of ministers’ meeting at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, July 31, 2015. (AFP photo)


Rajoy’s right-wing Popular Party says if leftist Podemos Party pushes for changes in the economy following the elections – expected to be held by November – the country could go back to a financial crisis.

Spain exited five years of on-and-off recession in 2013. Madrid has predicted that the country’s economy will grow by 3.3 percent this year, which is more than two times the average forecast for eurozone countries.

Spain, which currently has a 22-percent unemployment rate, also predicts that Madrid’s public debt will equal 98.5 percent of the economy this year.

Varoufakis, an economist, resigned a day after Greece voted against bailout terms set by its creditors in a referendum on July 5.

Despite the “no” vote by Greeks in the referendum, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accepted the harsher terms, including tax and pension reforms, for a bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the European Commission – Greece’s creditors – during a summit on July 12 and 13.

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