Yanis Varoufakis, who as Greece's finance minister last year tried to defy German-backed austerity policies, has launched a pan-European movement in Berlin that he says aims to ''democratise'' the continent. David Pollard reports.
The stage at this Berlin theatre might be small, but the EU themes chosen by Yanis Varoufakis to launch his new movement are as big as they get. Debt, banking, low investment, poverty and ultra-nationalism - Europe is stuck in a vicious circle, he says. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER GREEK FINANCE MINISTER, YANIS VAROUFAKIS, SAYING: "The only alternative is to try something we've never tried before, a political movement that starts everywhere in Europe at once, across borders, independently of prior political party affiliations, that has one simple objective: to get Europeans around a metaphorical table." Ambitious words from a man who, as Greece's former finance minister, was the thorn in the side of the EU's German-led austerity policies. Policies which are still proving explosive in sections of the Greek population. But Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 - as it's called - is aiming higher and wider. A vision of a pan-European force to, in his words, "democratise" the continent. Its other big theme: migration. CEBR's Vicky Pryce among those thinking that while Varoufakis may no longer be a contender at the ballot box - his movement could still chime on perhaps the most incendiary issue of all. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, CEBR, VICKY PRYCE, SAYING: "To me, the migrant crisis may well make people either think, well, Europe is finished, the euro zone needs to be rethought, or it will be a wake-up moment when finally they realise they need to do something deeper." The EU's schengen visa-free area is under strain from the migrant crisis. And Britain could be about to pull up the drawbridge, if voters decide to leave the union in an upcoming referendum. Varoufakis has made a name going against perceived wisdom. This, though, perhaps his biggest gamble yet.