Former Greek Minister Varoufakis Eyes 'Greek Spring'

AFP
Yanis Varoufakis, who was finance minister in the first Syriza government of leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in 2015, created DiEM25 as a transnational, anti-establishment movement, hit by the fallout of the 2008 economic crisis.

Athens: Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said Thursday he was eyeing a "Greek Spring" as he launched a crowdfunding campaign to build a political party from the pan-European DiEM25 movement he launched in early 2016.

"The time has come to launch DiEM25 in #Greece, the political force that will return the spirit of the Greek Spring to the country that gave birth to it," DiEM25 announced on Twitter.

Varoufakis, who was finance minister in the first Syriza government of leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in 2015, created DiEM25 as a transnational, anti-establishment movement, urging a "new deal" for a continent hit by the fallout of the 2008 economic crisis.

The name is an acronym for Movement for Democracy in Europe (by) 2025.

"On March 26, DiEM25 members will gather in Athens to constitute ourselves as a political party that participates in European, national and local elections — but also as an indivisible part of the transnational, radical Europeanist movement DiEM25," the movement said in an online statement Thursday.

The statement added that in Greece "an army of committed volunteer activists" would seek to deliver "a set of realistic proposals to make Greece’s social economy viable again."

Varoufakis, who last year said capitalism was making itself obsolete, said his nascent party would offer an alternative that "rejects corporate and institutional funding.

"This means we are beholden only to you and the principles and ideals we share. So we’re asking you to help move forward our electoral actions in Greece," he said.

An accompanying statement named fellow "progressives"including Canadian journalist Naomi Klein, US intellectual Noam Chomsky and British musician Brian Eno as among figures backing a movement Varoufakis says has tens of thousands of members, many in France and Germany.

Last month, Varoufakis and former French socialist presidential candidate Benoit Hamon launched a joint campaign for next year's European elections urging a common candidate list backing an anti-austerity programme.

Greece also faces legislative elections next year, in September.