Speed Reads

Greek debt crisis

Why it's impossible to talk economic sense to finance ministers in the eurozone

Yanis Varoufakis is an academic economist, and until a few days ago was the finance minister of Greece. Naturally enough, he likes to talk economics. Here's his description of what it was like to try that in the Eurogroup, the eurozone club of finance ministers:

It's not that it didn't go down well — it's that there was point blank refusal to engage in economic arguments. Point blank... You put forward an argument that you've really worked on — to make sure it's logically coherent — and you're just faced with blank stares. It is as if you haven't spoken. What you say is independent of what they say. You might as well have sung the Swedish national anthem — you'd have got the same reply. [New Statesman]

Varoufakis resigned after it became clear that his Syriza party was heading toward an agreement with eurozone lenders that will likely keep Greece in a recession for as far as the eye can see. How they got there is starting to make a lot more sense.