The London-based Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, headed by two ex-Financial Times scribes – chairman John Plender and managing director David Marsh – on Monday released a 24-minute audiotape of a teleconference they held nearly two weeks ago with Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister.
Details of the call were first revealed by the Greek daily Kathimerini, and much of most sensational revelations Varoufakis made were about a surreptitious project he and a small team of aides worked on to set up a parallel payments system that could be activated if the European Central Bank forced the shutdown of the Greek financial system.
But Varoufakis also made some other interesting allegations, including claims the International Monetary Fund believes the Greek bailout is doomed and that Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, offered him another ministry shortly after he was relieved as finance minister.
We’ve had a listen to the entire call, and transcribed most of it – excluding some inconsequential asides to the teleconference’s hosts, Messrs Marsh and Norman Lamont, the former UK finance minister.
The recording starts with an apparent interruption of the speakers; the teleconference operator announces that the call is now being recorded. Then Varoufakis begins:
The thing is, I have to admit we did not have a mandate for bringing Greece out of the euro. What we had a mandate to do was to negotiate for a kind of arrangement with the eurogroup, with the European Central Bank that would render Greece sustainable within the eurozone.