As someone who believes the Euro, as structured and managed today, is a deeply flawed system that has pushed Greece (and other nations) into a deep and prolonged depression, I was excited about Syriza’s recent victory and hopeful that the new Greek government could negotiate a deal with other Euro members to ease the pain of its citizens, and begin transitioning the Euro toward a fuller and healthier economic integration among its member states.
But, according to this post on the Naked Capitalism blog, the latest signs are not good for this kind of positive outcome. Though I’m tempted to discuss the economic and political substance of the post, I’ll resist that temptation (though I’d recommend the post to anyone interested in this important development in the global economy). Instead, what I want to focus on here is what I believe is a first in communication history (please correct me if I’m wrong): the fact that Greece’s new Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, in addition to being a respected economist (as one might expect for this kind of post), is also a longtime and prolific blogger. And, even after taking on his ministerial role in the midst of a national (and arguably European and even global) crisis, he has not given up his blogging practice.
As Varoufakis said on his blog shortly after his party’s electoral victory:
The time to put up or shut up has, I have been told, arrived. My plan is to defy such advice. To continue blogging here even though it is normally considered irresponsible for a Finance Minister to indulge in such crass forms of communication. Naturally, my blog posts will become more infrequent and shorter. But I do hope they compensate with juicier views, comments and insights.
For hope to be revived we must all strive to change the ways of a dismal past. Maintaining an open line with the outside world may be a small step in that direction.
So, keep watching this space!
As the Naked Capitalism post notes (with extended excerpts), Varoufakis, in a May 2012 post on his blog, explained with frankness and some detail the terrible consequences of a Greek exit from the Euro (a.k.a., Grexit).
Unfortunately, we may be on the brink of such an event. And, unlike earlier eras, when citizens had limited and indirect access to information and perspective about important matters of state, today we can read the blogged commentary (both past and present) of a nation’s Finance Minister, as he and his colleagues confront daily decisions of global import. And, in addition, we get to read a range of online commentaries (such as the recent Euro-focused posts on Naked Capitalism and many other blogs) that synthesize reporting and opinions from a range of sources (including expert and non-expert commenters from Greece and other affected nations and institutions)—much of it “footnoted” via hyperlinks to those sources.
As this is being written, Varoufakis’ most recent blog post highlights what many (including myself) see as a chronic and serious shortcoming of television coverage of complex, delicate and important developments. Commenting on a BBC video segment featuring an interview with him, Varoufakis had this to say:
As a fan of the BBC, I must say I was appalled by the depths of inaccuracy in the reporting underpinning this interview (not to mention the presenter’s considerable rudeness).
I tend to agree with his take on the BBC segment, and invite readers to share their own reaction to the interview and the segment that introduced it (the intro runs about 3:20 and the interview is around 11 min. long).