Having led Greek bail-out negotiations during one of the most dramatic periods in the history of the EU, Yanis Varoufakis is now one of the most prominent anti-austerity voices in the world. As well as supporting progressive, left-learning solutions to economic problems, he also takes a critical view of the EU, global financial institutions and conventional political and economic wisdom.
Yanis Varoufakis served as Minister of Finance of Greece in during one of the most dramatic periods in the country’s modern history. He has since gone on to be a leading anti-austerity voice across Europe and the world, supporting a more progressive, left-leaning solution to the economic woes many have faced since the banking crisis.
After the financial crisis that nearly bankrupted the country, Greece witnessed political and social turmoil rarely seen in Europe for over 50 years. With general elections and referenda happening almost yearly, there was a search for stability as the country sought to negotiate its national debt.
The election of the socialist Syriza (or Coalition of the Radical Left) saw Yanis elected to parliament and appointed as Finance Minister shortly afterwards. The party promised to stand firm against the ECB-imposed austerity measures and Yanis led discussions with the bank, the IMF and EU members. Faced with a new bail-out proposal, Yanis staked his political career on rejecting it. When a national referendum on the scheme approved it, true to his word, he resigned from government.
Since his brief stint in politics Yanis has returned to economics, and has becoming a leading critic of austerity plans around the world. He is also outspoken on the EU and the ECB for their actions and lack of accountability. Often controversial, but always considered, he compiled his thoughts on global economics and the aftermath of the financial crisis in his book “And The Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe, Austerity and the Threat to Global Stability”.
Educated in Greece and the UK, Yanis has taught economics and econometrics at the University of Essex and the University of East Anglia. He was a Fellow at the University of Cambridge, was a senior lecturer in economics at the University of Sydney, and became Professor of Economic Theory at the University of Athens. Whilst in Athens he also served as economic advisor to George Papandreou, then Prime Minister of Greece.