BREAKING: The Union announces Yanis Varoufakis as a speaker for its London austerity debate

He’s the reason your holiday to Greece was cheap this year

The Cambridge Union has secured the economist Yanis Varoufakis for its 2016 London Debate on 23rd September.

The ex-Greek Finance Minister will be speaking in favour of the motion ‘This House has Lost Confidence in Austerity’. Joining him on the Proposition side will be former Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable and Lord Karan Bilimoria.

Facing them across the floor on the Opposition bench will be the former Executive Director of Conservatives IN Charlotte Vere and Head of Public Policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, Ryan Bourne. The confirmation of Varoufakis will cause a slight switch-up for the Union’s President-Elect Kate Dunbar, who will move from the Proposition to the Opposition.

The timing of the debate is politically salient. It will come in advance of the government’s autumn statement which parliamentary circles suspect will see Theresa May roll back on a commitment to austerity.

Varoufakis' speech last Michaelmas was thought to attract over a thousand students

Varoufakis’ speech last Michaelmas was thought to attract over a thousand students

Varoufakis has already proved to be hugely popular with Cambridge students. His ‘Negotiation at the Brink’ talk last Michaelmas was one of the Union’s most successful events of the year. The talk enjoyed a packed chamber and queues running down the street.

Michaelmas President Asia Lambert has expressed her excitement, commenting: “Mr Varoufakis offers a unique perspective on austerity politics and we are exceptionally happy that he has chosen to speak.”

The London Debate, which is being held at Inner Temple Hall, follows in the steps of last September’s Bicentenary debate, the first of a now annual series of Union events.


Speaking to The Tab, Development Director and ex-President Oliver Mosley explained that the event is a more accessible opportunity for alumni and members to come together for a chance to debate.

He said: “The Union is about to go through significant expansion that will leave a lasting impression on future generations of students, as we expand our charitable activity to broaden public debate to students and young people everywhere, regardless of their background. We hope members everywhere will enjoy a great event with a fantastic panel of speakers.” He went on to clarify that more details on the Union’s changes will be announced soon.

The Tab understands that a school which the Union supports will be attending the debate free of charge.

Last year's Bicentenary Debate at Middle Temple

Last year’s Bicentenary Debate at Middle Temple

However, the Union is charging its members to attend. Despite the price of life-time membership already standing at a hefty £199, a non-dining members ticket will set you back £30.

The announcement of Varoufakis’ attendance sets a promising precedent for the Union’s Michaelmas term, which will seek new members from the incoming Freshers.