'He doesn't negotiate, he kicks ass!' Why Varoufakis was the coolest finance minister ever
In five months of being Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis proved himself to be a tough negotiator who was not going to concede even a bit to Greece’s creditors, as well as a political ‘rock star’ who wins hearts and minds from atop his motorcycle.
Varoufakis never showed that he was ready to accept all the demands Greece creditors put towards the debt-stricken nation. He repeatedly refused bailout plan offered by the troika of international creditors, calling it “a committee built on rotten foundations.”
The self-declared "erratic Marxist" was apparently ready to mutilate himself rather than agree to current terms of bailout presented to Athens by its international creditors.
“I’d prefer to cut my arm off” than agree to current deal, he said in an interview to Bloomberg, adding that people of Greece are tired of “losing their dignity by signing agreements and making pledges that simply cannot be met. Because the financing is wrong.”
But he didn’t stop there. Only a day after the ‘cut my arm off’ comment, Varoufakis described the creditors’ relationship with Greece as “terrorism.”
“What they are doing with Greece has a name: terrorism,” Varoufakis told Spain’s El Mundo daily. “Why have they forced us to close the banks? To make people frightened. And when it comes to spreading terror, this phenomenon is called terrorism.”
Even after his surprise resignation, Varoufakis promised that he “shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.”
"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," he said in an online statement.
One of the reasons for leaving his post was reportedly a bitter conflict with Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup, which includes all the finance ministers of countries in the Eurozone.
The Greeks were frustrated and surprised over the resignation of their ‘rebel’ Finance Minister.
“Varoufakis is number 1,” “The Europeans want the head of Varoufakis,” “Varoufakis is very good”, the residents of Athens told RT’s Ilya Petrenko.
However, in the hearts and minds of his fans Varoufakis will always remain the guy who rocks. For example, he didn’t take a private car to go to his (now ex) boss Alexis Tsipras, he just arrived on a motorbike.
— Samuel Mayor Parker (@Mayor_Parker) July 6, 2015
— Volatility Smile (@volatilitysmile) July 2, 2015
Varoufakis played by his own rules and looked like a political rock star, often seen with a rucksack on his back and never wearing a necktie.
And he is definitely a womanizer:
I both do and don't want to know whether there is Varoufakis/Lagarde slash fic (tho Rule 34 suggests there must be) pic.twitter.com/d5fQ9nhIDt
— Chris Hanretty (@chrishanretty) June 25, 2015
— Yannis Koutsomitis (@YanniKouts) March 12, 2015
His tough clashes with the EU and his German counterpart Wolfgang Schäuble over Athens' debt to the Troika of European lenders were not left unnoticed by a German show which uploaded a YouTube video entitled ‘V for Varoufakis’.
“He’s the lost son of Zeus with a heart made of stone!”… "his body screams of sex”… “his leather jacket is made of skin from German shepherd puppies”… “He doesn’t negotiate, he simply kicks ass”.
But it’s not only the Germans behind the video who believe that Varoufakis is a badass. His fans apparently had a flight of fancy on “the descendent of Zeus” as they photoshopped him onto pictures of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, Superman, John McClane from Die Hard epic and many other action heroes.
— Miguel de Cervantes (@CervantesFAQs) July 6, 2015
Varoufakis "Luciré con orgullo el odio de la troika" pic.twitter.com/Bje7BsYxzx
— CTXT (@ctxt_es) July 6, 2015
— ⊗Cosas tontacas⊗ (@Cosas_Tontacas) July 6, 2015
— ¿Por qué no? (@Porqueno2014) July 6, 2015
Varoufakis: Twitter mourns a photoshop darling pic.twitter.com/yxjfEn5x94
— Henry Foy (@HenryJFoy) July 6, 2015
— Lee Morán (@lee_moran) July 6, 2015
Siguen los memes con Varoufakis como Spock. Acá, con Merkel: pic.twitter.com/Rchhty2wt2
— Sergio Ranieri (@sergioranieri) February 4, 2015
Memes de Varoufakis (L) pic.twitter.com/wv7nJYPvDM
— Gestas (@randomuser65398) February 1, 2015
— Faro de Vigo (@Farodevigo) July 6, 2015
And though Varoufakis has left the position of Finance Minister, this Greek legend will never be forgotten.