Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has been accused of violating the curfew imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when he traveled to his house on Aegina Island.
Varoufakis, now an MP and the leader of political party MeRA25, allegedly ignored the protective measures that ban movement away from one’s place of residence, in driving to the port and traveling by ferry to Aegina.
When Coast Guard officers at the port of Aegina tried to stop his car to ask for the required travel permit, Varoufakis drove off, saying that he is an MP and does not need a travel permit.
The incident was confirmed by Hellenic Coast Guard spokesperson Nikos Lagkadianos, who said that charges will be filed against Varoufakis.
Aegina mayor Yiannis Zorbas also confirmed the incident. Speaking on Status 107.7 radio station, he said he was actually present himself during the check at the Aegina port.
“We were in the port of Aegina and along with port authorities we were checking pedestrians and vehicles disembarking… In one of these checks, Yanis Varoufakis was in his vehicle, the port officer signaled him to stop, he (Varoufakis) slowed down a little, did not stop completely, and told him that “I am an MP.”
The port official told him “Sir, we are doing a check, I need your documents,” but Varoufakis replied “Don’t you know who I am?” and headed for the port exit… the officer did not have time to react.”
Varoufakis maintains that Aegina is his place of residence
Following the reports on the disturbing incident, the MP stated that his primary residence is in Aegina. He said that he left on Thursday to go to Parliament to speak about the Eurobond that the European Commission denied issuing.
In a post on Twitter, Varoufakis wrote “Some people were very upset that I went from Aegina to the Parliament on 9/4 to talk about the mess in the Eurogroup in which the government “sold out” the Eurobond. And since they had nothing to say about the financial argument, they spoke out that, after the speech, I returned… to my home!”
Speaking to Thema 104.6 radio station, Varoufakis claimed that, “We stay in Aegina, with Danae (his wife), for more than half of the year. I had gone to Parliament to discuss the Eurogroup. I returned to Aegina at night and have not left the house since.”
Asked if he is a permanent resident of Aegina, Varoufakis replied, “No, I am not a permanent resident of Aegina but I was staying in Aegina before the ban.”
He also referred to the legislative act about the ban on unnecessary movements, which he said “excludes lawmakers for the exercise of their parliamentary duties. There is nothing more relevant than going to Parliament. I was completely legal because I came to Aegina before the ban.”
Regarding the incident with the Aegina port authority, Varoufakis replied, “For five years I have to face a distortion of facts and a demonization and if I respond to every nonsense I will not survive.”
The controversial politician continued, “If they want to be ridiculed, let them fine me 150 euros. If they want to fine a member of Parliament for his parliamentary duties, they will weaken the the notion of a fine.”