Stories By 'YANIS VAROUFAKIS'
Athens—Discontent without end looms over Britain. Leavers and Remainers are equally despondent. Her Majesty’s Government and the Labour opposition are equally divided. The United Kingdom is deeply divided between a Europhile Scotland and a Euroskeptic England, between pro-EU English cities (including London) and anti-EU coastal and northern towns.
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Athens—Even Google’s fiercest critics use its technologies to research their fiery tirades against it or, more mundanely, to find their way around a foreign city. Let’s be honest: life without Google would be awfully more tedious in a variety of important ways. But that is not a good reason to leave Google and the other tech giants alone. On the contrary, the nature and importance of their contribution make it imperative that they be placed under democratic control—and not just because of the well appreciated need to protect individual privacy.
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Athens—No policy is as self-defeating during recessionary times as the pursuit of a budget surplus for the purpose of containing public debt—austerity, for short. So, as the world approaches the tenth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, it is appropriate to ask why austerity proved so popular with Western political elites following the financial sector’s implosion in 2008.
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Italy should be doing well. Unlike Britain, it exports considerably more to the rest of the world than it imports, while its government spends less (excluding interest payments) than the taxes it receives.
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Athens—“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” Prior to the 2016 Brexit referendum, I borrowed this line from the Eagles’ 1976 hit “Hotel California” as an argument against Britain exiting the European Union.
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Donald Trump is perhaps the US president best equipped to understand that some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.
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