Seven times Yanis Varoufakis just did not give a damn what anyone thought of him

Yanis Varoufakis once said, when criticised for his outspoken and widely followed blog posts:

Naturally, my blog posts will become more infrequent and shorter. But I do hope they compensate with juicier views, comments and insights.

He certainly provided an exclusive insight this morning as he announced his resignation as Greek finance minister on his blog.

In characteristically brazen form, Mr Varoufakis wrote:

Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.

I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum.

And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.

It’s not the first time Mr Varoufakis has neglected to care what anyone thinks of him:

1) When he just didn't care about his attire during a major briefing on an international news story

Last night, he raised a few eyebrows by briefing reporters in a bike helmet and a grey T-shirt.

2) Just about any of the times he's had to talk about the 'Troika'

In the months leading up to the referendum he’s not lacked controversy, calling the Troika - the country’s official creditors consisting of the EU, the IMF and the ECB - "a committee built on rotten foundations" and assessing the austerity terms of Greece’s bailout as follows:

Europe in its infinite wisdom decided to deal with this bankruptcy by loading the largest loan in human history on the weakest of shoulders... What we've been having ever since is a kind of fiscal waterboarding that has turned this nation into a debt colony.

3) His response to the mere suggestion he'd sign bailout proposals without a negotiation

When asked if he'd sign bailout proposals that didn't include a restructuring of Greece's debts he replied:

I'd prefer to cut my arm off.

But please, Yanis, tell us what you really think?

4) His response to having to rub shoulders with the European financial elite.

He squirms at the thought at a deal with hedge funds, bankers and the establishment, despite having previously advocated one, saying:

Forging alliances with reactionary forces, as I think we should do to stabilise Europe today, brings us up against the risk of becoming co-opted, of shedding our radicalism through the warm glow of having 'arrived' in the corridors of power.

5)The moment he had the coldest handshake ever with Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem

As a joint press conference with Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem was concluding, Varoufakis dropped a bombshell regarding the Troika.

…and with this if you want – and according to European Parliament – flimsily-constructed committee we have no aim to cooperate. Thank you.

As both go to leave the conference and shake hands Dijsselbloem quickly whispered into Varoufakis’ ear "You have just killed the Troika."

Varoufakis' response?


6) When he didn't care what Germany, or its finance minister, thought of him

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is one man who may not be too sad to see the the departure of Mr Varoufakis.

Since talks began five months ago, the relationship between the two men has been tense at best, as both have accused each other of being "insulting".

In March, Varoufakis said:

Mr. Schaeuble has told me I have lost the trust of the German government. I have told him that I never had it. I have the trust of the Greek people.

Mr Varoufakis, staying true to himself, always.

7) When he rocked up to Downing Street in a leather jacket

This is Mr Varoufakis arriving for talks with his UK counterpart George Osborne at Downing Street.

To his credit, the chancellor seemed impressed by Varoufakis's more relaxed style, which he also displayed while in Paris for talks with French ministers.

Say what you like about his policies, as finance ministers go, he has been entertaining.

More:Greek finance minister resigns, burns the country's creditors on his way out

More:German comedians have penned a glorious song about Yanis Varoufakis

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)