Arts Cinema StageWeekend

Are there adults in the room (Costa Gavras)

(B2) It is through the eyes of Yanis Varoufakis, the short-lived Greek Minister of Finance during the financial crisis, that Costa Gavras sheds light on the backyard of European decisions on the latest Greek crisis after the coming to power of Syriza's left

It's sharp, radical as the director of 'Z' likes it. But both the characters and the atmosphere are traced in a rather realistic way. He makes it a point of honor to portray the inflexible nature of the German attitude, in particular an inflexible Wolfgang Schäuble, and an Angela Merkel who wavers but covers her minister, a small court of ministers who are tougher (Slovak...) than the King ; a Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the eurogroup, portrayed as an ultra servile; a menacing Mario Draghi; a French minister (Michel Sapin) who wants to play the role of the good guy, but doesn't quite manage to live up to it, all in his desire to maintain the link with Germany. Ditto for the European Commission with Pierre Moscovici giving way to Dijsselbloem and a distant Juncker. Only a Christine Lagarde at the IMF comes out of it, with an impeccable role, acknowledging that the " Greek debt is unsustainable » and regretting that he « there are no adults in the room – the title comes from one of these quotes – François Hollande quoted as the recourse of Athens and a certain young Minister of the Economy (Emmanuel Macron) who makes a quick appearance.

A Greek Tragedy

The film brings to light, if not exactly tracing the story, the atmosphere of the moment, dramatic, harsh, where political comments were more worthy of bar counter remarks (Greeks do not work) than politics . The scenes, which stem from Yannis Varoufakis' own book, and from the recordings he took on the spot, are harsh. But the exchanges were not, at the time, especially imbued with tender friendship... The meeting rooms, cold, bare, made of glass and metal add to this harshness. But that's the reality (the Lex building where meetings were held isn't exactly a place of warmth).

Double talk and political cynicism exposed

Pure politics is also very present: a Eurogroup which works without any minutes and had no legal existence; a troika that allows itself to give orders to administrations and ministers; a double discourse — what is said inside the room is not what is affirmed outside —; mock discussions — the important thing being the press release or the press conference —; contempt for the people and for democracy — a value sometimes shared in the technocratic world of Brussels — sacrificed on the altar of the rigor of the euro; ...and the cynicism that dominates everything. W. Schäuble will recognize this himself: “ as a patriot I will not accept the famous MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) which governed relations with Greece. But we had to do an example so that no one is tempted to follow the path of Greece. Even through the closed doors, it was clear that the hour was serious.

To have...

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).