The Express — Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis suggested the European Union “foisted the so-called bailout” on Greece to save German and French banks at risk of collapse after the 2008 economic crisis.
Greece successfully emerged from its third bailout programme with the EU after borrowing a further €45 billion.
Mr Varoufakis speaking to the Today programme said Greece was forced into the bailout to help Germany and France:
“The first thing is that the Greek economy was never bailed out, or saved.
“What happened was that the creditor institutions of the European Union, together with the International Monetary Fund, in a state of panic over the French and German banks that were collapsing following the 2008 crisis, foisted upon Greece a so-called bailout programme.”
Mr Varoufakis continued: “It was a bailout for the French and German banks. Having turned Greece into a permanent debt colony, they decided just recently to declare victory.
“To quote Tacitus ‘they made a desert and called it peace,’ they have put Greece into a permanent coma and they call it stability.”
Until 2015 European banks held the majority of holdings of Greek debt but Germany and France took over as the two largest contributors to the bailout fund.
Figures published in June revealed that since 2010 Germany had benefitted from massive sums loaned to Greece over the course of three bailout programmes.
The figures also show that Germany made €3.4 billion in interest payments on Greek bonds and only returned to Greece €527 million in 2013 and €387 million the following year.