DUBLIN –  Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis gave a stark warning to Britain on Friday that if the country votes to leave the European Union in a referendum next month it risks pushing Europe into a death spiral.
Varoufakis, the leftist who served as finance minister in the Syriza-led government for seven months, said at a literary festival in Dublin that he was going to Britain this weekend to try to convince people that voting for “Brexit” would be ruinous — to Britain as well as Europe.
He said that not only would  Britain lose influence over the making of laws in Brussels that will continue to affect its economy, it also would help to push the European Union over the brink, creating a divide between the wealthier nations of northern Europe and the poorer ones in the south.
“Those who loathe the European Union — and there are very good reasons to loathe it — will think, ‘Oh, that’s a good thing, let it collapse’.”
“Think again, because if this European Union collapses and you speed up its collapse what’s going to happen? There’s going to be a fault line running through Europe,” Varoufakis said.
He said the income disparities that would result could  fuel a resurgence of right-wing parties, as happened when Europe’s economies went into a tailspin in the 1930s, leading to the rise of Hitler in Germany.
“Even if you have voted to get out of the European Union do you think you can flourish when you have a continent next to you that is sinking into this 1930s-like dystopia? This is why they need to stay in the European Union, to confront Brussels and to arrest this crisis now.
“Will we succeed? Probably not, but there is no alternative.”
Varoufakis spoke at a sold-out public lecture held  by the International Literature Festival Dublin 2016. — Michael Roddy

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