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Is The Nation-State And Its Welfare State Dead? A Critique Of Varoufakis

Navarro, Vicente, (2016), “Is The Nation-State And Its Welfare State Dead? A Critique Of Varoufakis”, Social Europe, 4 Αugust

I always read the writings of Mr. Varoufakis with great interest, and I frequently find myself in agreement, particularly in his criticism of the Troika (the International Monetary Fund, European Commission, and European Central Bank) and of the Eurogroup (the Ministers of Economy and Finances of the European Union). I also concur with his call for a European-wide mobilization to force democracy upon the institutions that govern the EU, although I disagree with his proposed way to do it. He believes (wrongly, I think) that the power of nation-states has practically disappeared in the EU. They do not count any longer. Based on his Greek experience, when he represented the Syriza government in negotiations with the Troika, he concludes that nation-states do not have any power. According to Varoufakis, governments and parliaments in these nation-states have been transformed into mere transmission belts of whatever is decided by the Troika and associated institutions. He writes in one of his recent publications that “European governments transmit to the Parliaments whatever is decided at the European level (the European Commission or the European Council) and the Parliaments carry out whatever instructions they received from those institutions” (Yanis Varoufakis and Gerard Pisarello, A plan for Europe, p. 89).

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