Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis protests in front of the German embassy in Athens. The German authorities had prohibited him from participating in the Berlin congress.

Yanis Varoufakis seems unfriendly.

They did not allow him to go to Germany for the “Palestinian Congress”: former Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis Photo: imago

ATHENS taz | First he had to give a lecture at the university on economic policy, as he did taz revealed. Then he went to protest. The entrance to the German embassy in Athens had long been tightly closed when Yanis Varoufakis got off his motorcycle in the fashionable Athens district of Kolonaki late on Thursday to address former parliamentarians, candidates for the upcoming European elections, officials and other people waiting in front of the embassy building, supporters of his party Mera25.

They had previously sung out loud. Varoufakis and company had called the protest at short notice to denounce “the authoritarianism, prohibitions and lies of the German government regarding the “Palestinian Congress” in Berlin.” At the demonstration, slogans were shouted against Israel and the position of the EU and especially Germany in the Gaza war. The approximately two hundred protesters called for a boycott and sanctions against Israel. One banner read in German: “Germany is ashamed of you, you are behind genocide!”

The background to the protest is the events related to the “Palestinian Congress” in Berlin, which was canceled by the police at the end of last week. The entry ban on former Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis, presumably limited to the period between April 10 and 14, has come under fire.

The imposition of such an entry ban arises from the exchange of emails between Varoufakis' lawyer and the federal police, through which the Frankfurter Rundschau (FR) reported on Thursday. If Varoufakis, secretary general of the European movement Democracy in Europe 2025 (Diem25), of which he was a co-founder, had traveled to Germany, he would probably have been turned away at the border. Only he didn't plan a trip to Berlin like he did. taz he said, but he wanted to talk to the participants of the “Palestinian Congress” by video. But this too was denied him.

Denied entry

Activity and entry bans were also imposed on two other guests. Doctor and rector of the University of Glasgow, Ghassan Abu-Sittah, was refused entry to Berlin airport on Friday. Due to the ban on the activity of historian Salman Abu Sitta, the “Palestinian Congress” was finally canceled when it was broadcast by video.

“This is a great defeat for German democracy. Equating Palestinian resistance against apartheid with the genocide of Palestinians in the name of a supposed fight against anti-Semitism is unacceptable,” Varoufakis said on the sidelines of the protest rally. taz. Palestinians not only have the right but also the duty to resist. “Our duty is to hold high the flag against anti-Semitism and the genocide of the Palestinians,” Varoufakis said.

He strongly condemned the German ban on entry and activity against him and others. “This is the end of democracy in Germany. If the Federal Republic of Germany's raison d'état of protecting Jews, which I also fully support, ultimately means that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the State of Israel can and are committing genocide, democracy in Germany is over. . Democracy in Europe will also be abolished if the German state prohibits politicians and citizens of its own country and other countries from saying what any German politician and citizen would have to say.

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