In the Guardian on Tuesday, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakisrecalled his attempts last year to find common cause with EU colleagues.

After he made a plea for an easing of the terms of the bailout, explaining that this was the devout wish of the Greek people as expressed in the recent election, German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble made a reply which should send shivers up the spine of every democrat: “‘Elections cannot be allowed to change the economic programme of a member state.’”

Another finance minister consoled him: “Yanis, you must understand that no country can be sovereign today, especially not a small and bankrupt one like your own.”