WATCH: Can Europe Break Free of the US?

French President Emmanuel Macron raised questions about Europe being a vassal state of the U.S. Can it independent? Watch this DiEM25 discussion with Yanis Varoufakis. 

Speaking during an official visit to China, Emmanuel Macron said that Europe should chart its own course and be a ‘third pole’ in world affairs between Washington and Beijing – and not be a vassal to either as the New Cold War threatens to escalate. Unsurprisingly, his comments have caused unease among many European leaders, for whom unquestioned alignment with Washington is the only way.

Is Europe today “a vassal” of the U.S.? And if Europe were to chart its own course, what should that look like?  These questions are explored in detail – including how they relate to DiEM25’s campaign for a New Non-Aligned Movement.

 0:00 [Introduction] Mehran Khalili

1:28 Yanis Varoufakis

22:07 Maja Pelevic 28:48

Amir Kiyaei 31:38

Questions and comments from the chat 32:04

Panos Stenos 36:27

Julijana Zita 42:31

Questions and comments from the chat 42:53

Defne Dalkara 48:10 Danae Stratou 50:31

Judith Meyer 53:05

Questions and comments from the chat 53:30

Yanis Varoufakis 1:03:44

[Conclusion] Mehran Khalili

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Yanis Varoufakis


16 comments for “WATCH: Can Europe Break Free of the US?

  1. Milenko Barudzija
    April 26, 2023 at 01:41

    No, never. The great chance was missed, and now it’s far too late.
    Europe deserves it too, otherwise it would be different.

  2. Morey
    April 25, 2023 at 23:09

    Putin maybe a lot of things, but he is no more a criminal than some of the genocidal war-criminals in Washington and Europe too! And why would anyone long for EU (maybe Yanis and his misguided Europhilia) to be another superpower/empire? What? Because of its enlightenment past? Have we forgotten European empire’s genocidal and colonial past? What a shameful and useless discussion.

  3. Packard
    April 24, 2023 at 16:39

    What’s a brother gotta do to persuade the Europeans to dissolve NATO, and then quietly ask the occupying American military force to leave?

    Asking for 74 million close friends who are very likely to be more fed up with alliance than any randomly chosen European.

    Let’s try to part as friends, shall we?

    • Valerie
      April 25, 2023 at 03:23

      I don’t know about europe, but Iraq did it:

      “Iraq has asked the United States to begin the process of planning the withdrawal of its troops from the country, five days after the Iraqi Parliament voted to end the long-standing American military presence there in the wake of the U.S. killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

      Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said in a statement Friday that he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a phone call “to send a delegation to Iraq to put a mechanism [in place] for implementing the Iraqi parliament decision to safely withdraw troops from Iraq.””
      Jan 10 2020 NBC news

      (I believe they refused to leave.)

      • Milenko Barudzija
        April 26, 2023 at 01:51

        Iraqis (and everyone else) can ask for a long time, but it won’t happen.
        Who would then maintain the military bases there, secure hegemony and exploitation of earth resources there. Do not be naive.
        Only if they have to withdraw – because of the losses – as they did from Afghanistan in the end, they will withdraw, otherwise never.

    • Milenko Barudzija
      April 26, 2023 at 01:43

      No, never. The great chance was missed, and now it’s far too late.
      Europe deserves it too, otherwise it would be different.

  4. Daniel Good
    April 24, 2023 at 13:13

    Yains, Maybe Putin did not ask the EU for permission to lash out at Ukraine. Is that what makes him a criminal in your eyes? He should have understood what a terrible bind Europe was in? Anyway, he lashed out and in doing so he now has no option but to win against Ukraine, at the very least. As for the existential war with the West, may the better man win. It does not look like either side can back down.

  5. Joseph Tracy
    April 24, 2023 at 00:25

    generally like Yanis but I think his pronouncements on Putin are a hypocritical oversimplification that ignores the murderous aggressive pattern of US geopolitics and its cooperative European servants. One gets the feeling that the people of the Donbass deserve no rights to resist the destruction of their culture or the betrayal of the Minsk accords signed by the Ukrainian government, and which was Putin’s reasonable red line for the internal resolution of the war of fascist dominated West Ukraine on those east Ukrainians whose territory and infrastructure they wanted to control after purging it of Russian culture and as many of those they labeled as Russians as they could kill. Apparently Yanis Varoufakis’s resistance to US economic and military dominance has nothing to do with the humanity of the victims of US wars: Iraqis, Iranians, Libyans, Syrians, Venezuelans , Ukrainians, Russians etc.
    What exactly should Russia and the people of the Donbass have done to resist the military aggression of a state established by a US/NATO coup? Do Russians and their leaders have the status of non- humans because they directly confronted the aggression of the US and the dictator Zelensky who has eliminated political and media opposition? Is he saying the growth of the NATO pursuit of a full scale war with Russia is all Russia’s fault ? Who is refusing a reasonable settlement here? What of the increasing alignment of Northern Europe with the US witnessed in the Assange case and the growth of a racist far right in these countries? What of the cooperation of these countries to disguise the Nordstream act of war?

  6. Rick
    April 23, 2023 at 17:09

    I am really glad I listened to this. It gave me many things to think about that I hadn’t realised. I also especially agreed with the part of how the spread of english language and what part that plays into perceptions etc. Very good program.

  7. Bill Todd
    April 23, 2023 at 16:39

    I don’t regret the hour I spent listening to this, though I’m not sure how well it represents the mindset of the European populace.

    The leading lengthy comments by Yanis Varoufakis were especially interesting, though he clearly has no clue (along with so much of the West’s population) about the details of the invasion of Ukraine despite having serious economic credentials and personal experience with the ‘Great Vampire Squid’ (no longer a trademark of Goldman Sachs) of oligarchy and poorly regulated capitalism which controls so much of the West and was so central to creating conditions under which the invasion of Ukraine was necessary (though risky) for Russia to undertake in order to forestall the Squid’s further progress toward world domination and open some doors for others to have the courage to take additional steps to forestall it.

  8. michael888
    April 23, 2023 at 15:49

    It is curious to hear the young Europeans’ views. Two talked about the American Dream, which has been mere blather for the last decade or two (and of course George Carlin said you would have to be asleep to believe in the American Dream). At least some realized the American people are suffering too (“70% cannot afford a $400 emergency”); they are not benefiting from the Davos Elites and Global neoliberals profiteering (mostly from WAR).

    It is also curious to hear Yaroufakis’ talk of condemning invasions by Russia and, if it happens, by China. Would he be fine with bombardment of Taiwan by China for eight years, as with Ukraine shelling the Donbas (incapable of invading and occupying)? Once a country is reduced to a Puppet State (as Ukraine has been with no independence or sovereignty since the CIA- Orange Revolution in 2005 and the Maidan Coup in 2014) it is expendable from the aims of the Viceroy/ Puppetmaster ; a US colony, as Italy was referred to, at least has the illusion of self government. Looking at Kosovo, Donetsk, Lugansk, Crimea and Taiwan there is no uniform application of “rules”; plebiscites are OK for Kosovo and Taiwan, but not for the Donbas or Crimea?
    As to WHEN the EU should have shown a spine, I would have thought the Disintegration of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, getting rid of NATO, and having the UN or the EU deal with the disintegration of Yugoslavia was the time that would have changed European history for the better.
    The present leaders of the EU seem to glorify in being vassals of the US!

  9. Robes n Pierre
    April 23, 2023 at 10:18

    1st, the short answer …. no. At least not without another French Revolution.

    2nd, if people succeed in that first step, do not put people like this into power. Ask the Greeks. They elected this guy, then he and his boss broke their campaign promises and forced in Banker’s Austerity just like all the other servants do. Same Fake Left, different continent.

    Step 1: Revolt
    Step 2: After you succeed, do not give power to the “Fake Left”. They were always a part of the problem, not the solution.

  10. jef Jelten
    April 23, 2023 at 10:16

    EU has little or no natural resources. They are entirely dependent on the imperial/colonial rape and pillage of the RoW in order to survive which the US allows for them in exchange for their servitude .

  11. peter mcloughlin
    April 23, 2023 at 07:00

    First and foremost the focus must be on preventing world war. Events are escalating towards that, with little evidence that the momentum can be stopped. Realizing a problem – however daunting – is the first step to take if there is any chance of resolving it. Understating the true nature of history is essential.

  12. Francis Lee
    April 23, 2023 at 05:38

    The stranglehold of the US in Europe in all respects – political, ideological, economic, philosophical – is, if anything, more total than even the first Cold War 1946. Europe as such is devoid of anything resembling sovereignty. The principal target for Europe, has been US hegemony in the immediate post-war period. The Brits were first to feel the house-training of the US.

    ‘’What was desired was the break-up of the Sterling Area … More and more multilateralism for the United States had come to connote the end of the British Empire and the forging of a concentric dollar area revolving around American gold, American economic power, and American full-employment levels … The first US loan on the post-war agenda was the British loan, which, as President Truman announced in forwarding it to Congress, would set the course of American and British economic relations for many years to come … Truman was right, for the Anglo-American Loan Agreement spelled the end of Britain as a Great Power.’’ (Michael Hudson – Super-Imperialism – pp.268/269 first published in 2003).

    Symptomatic of this relationship – Viz.: Me Tarzan, You Jane – was the recent destruction of the gas pipelines from Russia to Germany. Bizarre as it seems the Germans reacted to what was a geopolitical outrage by blaming the Russians! It would appear that the euro puppy-dogs have been well trained and groomed to positively react to the US dog-whistle.

  13. Valerie
    April 23, 2023 at 04:33

    I believe the following headline pertains to Mr. Varoufakis’ remarks regarding a “european army” (the unfeasibility of one) and more european “siding” with the US on the China situation:

    “Taiwan Strait: top EU diplomat calls for European navy patrols”

    Josep Borrell says safeguard would show Europe’s commitment to the ‘absolutely crucial’ area

    Guardian staff and agencies

    Sun 23 Apr 2023 05.42 BST

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