World Economy

Uproar in Athens Over ‘Secret Grexit Plan’

Uproar in Athens Over ‘Secret Grexit Plan’Uproar in Athens Over ‘Secret Grexit Plan’

Opposition parties in Greece are demanding answers following media reports of a secret government plan in Athens to leave the euro. The plan allegedly involved hacking into accounts and arresting the top central banker.

It is not clear how seriously the plan, attributed to former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and former Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis were considered by the government. Both ministers were sacked earlier this month, DW reported.

However, the reports have been seized on by opposition parties, which demanded an explanation on Monday.

“The revelations that are coming out raise a major political, economic and moral issue for the government which needs in-depth examination,” according to a joint statement by the center-right New Democracy party, the centrist To Potami and the Socialist Pasok parties, all of which backed Tsipras in parliamentary votes on the bailout this month.

The plan involved the reintroduction of the drachma, the conservative Kathimerini newspaper reported on Sunday, and was discussed during a conference call with investors on July 16. Extracts of the call were also published in the media.

 Secretly Copying Passwords

Varoufakis claimed he had been authorized by Alexis Tsipras in December to examine such a parallel payment system, Kathimerini reported, but he said he did not get the final go-ahead after Tsipras’ leftist Syriza party won in general elections a month later.

The newspaper report indicated the plan involved secretly copying the passwords of citizens’ tax accounts by hacking into the public revenues website. It was aimed at creating a system to allow payments between third parties and the state if banks were forced to close.

Varoufakis had a team in place to prepare the plan, which Kathimerini reported would have eventually required a 1,000-strong staff to implement.

On Monday, Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas said that such a proposal was never discussed by the government.

“Such discussions have never taken place at a government policy level,” he told Skai television.

The conference call took place more than a week after Varoufakis left his post as finance minister.

According to extracts from the call, Varoufakis said that German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble was “hell-bent on effecting a Grexit so nothing is over.”

“The work was more or less complete,” Varoufakis said. “We did have a Plan B but the difficulty was to go from the five people who were planning it to the 1,000 people that would have to implement it. For that I would have to receive another authorization which never came.”