A trove of audio files recorded between February and July 2015 is available on the website of Varoufakis’ self-styled pan-European DiEM25 party. In a video message, he said he began recording the meetings in secret after learning that negotiators were not keeping minutes.
"The Eurogroup’s three does not keep minutes, the European Union Council is still shrouded in total opacity. It’s about time we change that", he explained.
Varoufakis said he had published so-called "Euroleaks" to show how the powerful, moneyed elite within the Eurogroup had pressured small nations into accepting unfavourable loan conditions while pretending to be bargaining in good faith.
"You will hear the president of the Eurogroup [Jeroen Dijsselbloem] and other ministers warn me that if I dare table written proposals within the Eurogroup meetings that would be the end of the negotiations", he said.
"At the very same time they were leaking to the press that I was arriving at Eurogroup meetings without any proposals", the lawmaker added.
The leak sheds light on the troika’s attempts to bring down the "leftist Greek government", he said. The decision to disclose and publish them two years after Greece exited the bailout programme was made because the sitting right-wing government is trying to "weaponise fakes news" that the Eurogroup generated in 2015 to justify new austerity measures.
"We expect the publication to achieve what every citizen of a democracy expects from national institutions — transparency and accountability", DiEM25 head spokesman Nikos Karabasis said.
In a posting on his official Twitter page, Varoufakis said the Euroleaks honoured WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s struggle for transparent authorities and thanked the whistleblower for showing him the way. He said listening to the files was a great way of killing time in coronavirus-induced quarantine.