“I would be tempted to vote for Brexit if I were British,” the former Greek finance minister said in the keynote speech he gave to delegates. “If just to give these smug people in Brussels a bloody nose… and David Cameron too.”
A week earlier, the British prime minister had lambasted Varoufakis after learning the Greek had become an informal adviser to opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn. According to the London newspaper Islington Tribune, Cameron dismissed Varoufakis as “the Greek finance minister who left his economy in ruins,” concluding: “That is Labour’s policy in two words: Acropolis now.”
Leap in the dark
While polls in the UK suggest proponents and opponents of British EU membership are pretty equally split, delegates at the congress were pretty sanguine Britain would choose to stay in the EU. Three quarters said they believed the UK would not dare voting to leave.
Barry Norris, the European equity fund manager at Argonaut, took the same line arguing it was not the British people who had been asking for a referendum. “The chances for Britain to leave are very slim, since the demand for a referendum is not coming from the general population but from conservative MPs,” he said.
Besides that, the British people would be scared off to vote for Brexit because of the unknown consequences such a move would have. “It would be a leap in the dark,” Norris echoed the warning issued by many supporters of British EU membership during the past couple of weeks. “So I’m pretty confident UK will stay in the EU.”
Click here to see a full overview of delegate voting results from the Pan-European Congress.
And click here to see a slideshow of photos taken at the Congress.