The former Greek finance minister is Down Under on a speaking tour.
He has yet to hit Australian shores, but the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is already making headlines with claims the Australian economy has become a “plaything of forces out of its control”.
In an interview with The Guardian, Mr Varoufakis said the country had seen a “remarkable” flow of money into real estate, namely from China, which has led to a “false sense of well-being” when it comes to the global crisis.
“Australia – especially Sydney and Melbourne – has always insulated itself from facts about the world. Aided and abetted by the remarkable flow of capital towards the property market in Sydney and Melbourne, it has created a false sense of wellbeing,” he said.
But if the nation is to avert a crisis in the instance that the Chinese economy deflates further, Mr Varoufakis, who was finance minister of the flailing Greek economy for six months before announcing his resignation, advised the economy change direction quick smart.
In doing so, he went on to encourage decision makers to aspire to greater innovation, with a vision to redirect the economy from “rent” to “entrepreneurial profit” by selling commodities.
“Australia has excellent pockets of innovation such as CSIRO. But there is a glass ceiling where they usually have to sell up and move to the US in order to progress,” he explained.
“It was Paul Keating who said Australia needed to move from being the lucky country to being the smart country. But the government didn’t help that and Australia still has a problem taking ideas to the next stage.”
The former economics professor at Sydney University is due to appear in conversation with Mary Kostakidis as part of The Interrobang: A Festival of Questions.
Yanis Varoufakis will be appear at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre today (Saturday 28 November) from 11.00 am – 12 noon and at the Sydney Opera House tomorrow, Sunday 29 November.
Source: The Guardian