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 desrcibed 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:
Here’s a video of some of Varoufakis’s best quotes, compiled by the folks at the British blog Guido Fawkes.