Greece's 'Erratic Marxist' Leaves Legacy Of Sound Bites
Even in his resignation, Yanis Varoufakis couldn't resist a parting shot: "I shall wear the creditors' loathing with pride," he said today on his website while announcing he was quitting as Greece's finance minister.
He said he was resigning because he was "made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted 'partners,' for my ... 'absence' from its meetings."
Varoufakis has long been known for looking insouciant in his leather jacket and astride his Yamaha motorcycle. In his fewer than six months as finance minister, he railed against the terms imposed on Greece by its creditors and his negotiating partners. Before that, he was equally outspoken as an economist, professor and consultant to the Valve Corp., the company behind such games as Half-Life and Counter-Strike.
Varoufakis helped create a virtual economy for Valve games. Here's how Business Insider described his role in February:
"Games like Counter-Strike have in-game economies powered by real money. Customers can pay for items in games like new guns, or even in-game clothes. But Valve games often allow players to trade items with each other, meaning that an economy forms as users set their own resale value on virtual items.
"Varoufakis was hired by Valve as its economist-in-residence. He oversaw the virtual economies in Valve games, and was allowed to experiment with the online markets. Varoufakis referred to the role as 'an economist's paradise' in a post on the official Valve blog."
The self-declared "erratic Marxist" wasn't shy about sharing his views on Greece's role in Europe ([It's] "just like the Eagles song 'Hotel California.' You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."); the demands made of it by its creditors ("fiscal waterboarding"); or indeed what he would do if asked to accept another bailout without debt relief ("I'd prefer to cut my arm off").
And he was prolific on Twitter, as this selection shows:
Rumours of my impending resignation are (for the umpteenth time) grossly premature...— Yanis Varoufakis (@yanisvaroufakis) May 31, 2015
FDR, 1936: "They are unanimous in their hate for me; and I welcome their hatred." A quotation close to my heart (& reality) these days— Yanis Varoufakis (@yanisvaroufakis) April 26, 2015
Greeks now have a chance to prove that democracy is the source of solutions to Europe's inane handling of an inevitable crisis— Yanis Varoufakis (@yanisvaroufakis) December 29, 2014
The wise and the good fret as to what Europeans ought to do. Dylan Thomas told us some time ago: Rage, rage against the dying of the light!— Yanis Varoufakis (@yanisvaroufakis) November 18, 2014
Here's a video of some of Varoufakis' best quotes, compiled by the folks at the British blog Guido Fawkes.
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