Yanis Varoufakis, Greek Finance Minister

The new minister has the task of carrying out the Syriza government’s promise to halve its €320 billion debts and scrap budget cuts imposed as a condition for bail-out loans. What makes him tick?

The World Today
1 minute READ
  1. Despite Syriza’s far-Left politics, Yanis Varoufakis describes himself as a ‘libertarian Marxist’, saying he owes as much to Friedrich Hayek as to the author of the Communist manifesto. He has never held political office. His CV includes a range of Anglosphere universities – Essex and Birmingham, where he studied, and Sydney and the University of Texas at Austin, where he has taught. Critics say he has no experience with core eurozone countries.
  2. He knows how to make an entrance. He arrived for a cabinet meeting astride a Yamaha 1300cc motorbike. His first announcement on taking up his post at the Treasury was to rehire the 595 cleaners sacked by the ministry to save money. Their wages will be paid by saving on consultants.

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