Whatever the Cost

James Angelos

  • Adults in the Room: My Battle with Europe’s Deep Establishment by Yanis Varoufakis
    Vintage, 562 pp, £9.99, May 2018, ISBN 978 1 78470 576 3

On the night of 3 July 2015, Alexis Tsipras, prime minister of Greece and leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left, or Syriza, addressed a large crowd that had gathered in front of the Greek parliament in Syntagma Square. Since the beginning of the country’s debt crisis six years earlier, Syntagma Square had been the frequent site of angry anti-austerity demonstrations, many of which dissolved into street battles between riot police and anarchists slinging chunks of marble hammered from the paving in the square. Now, however, the mood was jubilant. There was music and dancing. People waved Greek flags. Someone held a sign that said ‘Unfuck Greece’, and the crowd yelled in ecstatic unison: ‘Oxi! Oxi! Oxi! Oxi!’ By this point, anyone following the Greek government’s stand-off with its creditors from the EU and the IMF knew that ‘Oxi’ is Greek for ‘No’.

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[*] Hurst, 460 pp., £16.99, September 2017, 978 1 84904 404 2.