Tusk is blasted for ‘Brexiteer’s special place in Hell’ comment and warned there’s a similar spot saved for whoever came up with EU monetary union
- Tusk said there was a ‘special place in hell’ for leading Brexiteers on Wednesday
- Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis replied to Tusk on Twitter
- He pointed out the damage caused by the EU monetary union after 2008 crash
- Varoufakis had to implement unpopular EU-ordered cutbacks in Greece in 2015
The ‘special place in hell’ that Donald Tusk controversially said was reserved for leading Eurosceptics might look very similar to the one for the architects of the EU’s monetary union, a leading Greek economist has said.
Tusk, who represents EU member leaders as head of the European Council, triggered outrage across the Channel by issuing a damning condemnation of pro-Brexit politicians on Wednesday.
‘I’ve been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely,’ he said.
Donald Tusk criticised leading Brexiteers who campaigned without a plan on Wednesday, but former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis hit back saying it was similar to the one reserved for those who designed the EU monetary union
But former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis hit back the following day by pointing out the damage caused by the EU monetary union.
‘Probably very similar to the place reserved for those who designed a monetary union without a proper banking union and, once the banking crisis hit, transferred cynically the bankers’ gigantic losses onto the shoulders of the weakest taxpayers,’ he wrote on Thursday.
Tusk did not respond. Theresa May also said she had raised the incendiary remarks in their meeting, calling them ‘not helpful’ and saying they had caused ‘widespread dismay’ in Britain.
The EU Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) was launched in 1992, and involves a common monetary policy as well as common currency – the euro.
Head of the European Council Donald Tusk (left) did not respond to Yanis Varoufakis, now a leading economist, on Twitter. Varoufakis served in the Greek administration at the time of the EU bailout budget, which was deeply unpopular with Greek citizens because it included severe cutbacks
All 28 member states belong to the economic union – but only 19 have opted to join the euro.
One of those who did however, was Greece, where Varoufakis served for eight months as Minister of Finance in 2015.
During this time, he was responsible for negotiating with the EU over the enormous bailout plan – designed to rescue the collapsed Greek economy with massive loans after the 2008 financial crash.
But the loans came with tough conditions: closing deficits, which led to aggressive tax increases and spending cuts; and a raft of reforms aimed at improving tax collection and the business climate in general. The economy, hit hard by spending cuts, shrank by a quarter.
Theresa May said she confronted Donald Tusk (pictured together in Brussels today) about his ‘unhelpful’ barb about Brexiteers having a ‘special place in Hell’
Greece now owes hundreds of billions in debts and its people overwhelmingly believe the plan was bad for the country.
Varoufakis would have dealt with Tusk over the Greek bailout as the EU Council, which he has presided over since 2014, signs off on all member’s budgets.
Varoufakis has previously slammed the concept of the single currency, saying: ‘It’s a bit like invading Russia. It starts off beautifully but you end up with blood on the snow.’