Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes

The finance minister had a reputation for being brutally honest

Chris Mandle
Monday 06 July 2015 10:19
Yanis Varoufakis resigned on Monday after pressure from Greece's creditors
Yanis Varoufakis resigned on Monday after pressure from Greece's creditors

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis announced his resignation this morning despite the country’s ‘no’ vote in the referendum on proposed austerity meaasures.

In post on his Wordpress blog titled ‘Minister No More!’, Varoufakis said that following the referendum he was made aware that there was a ‘preference’ from some Eurogroup participants that he be absent from many of their meetings.

Varoufakis has already changed his Twitter bio to reflect his new employment status and has included with some of his trademark wit:

“Economics professor, quietly writing obscure academic texts for years, until thrust onto the public scene by Europe's inane handling of an inevitable crisis”

In celebration of his sense of humour and general quotability, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite Yanis Varoufakis lines showing the (former) Greek finance minister at his best, from catty remarks to sneaky House of Cards references.

Quoting poet Dylan Thomas:

“Greek democracy today chose to stop going gently into the night. Greek democracy resolved to rage against the dying of the light.”During Greek elections"

On summing up Europe in a nutshell:

“A clueless political personnel, in denial of the systemic nature of the crisis, is pursuing policies akin to carpet-bombing the economy of proud European nations in order to save them.”

Likening politics to The Eagles:

"Greece is absolutely, irreversibly, committed to staying in the eurozone," he told CNN. "The problem is that once you're in, it goes just like the Eagle's song 'Hotel California' - you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

On taking down Greece's political elite:

“We are going to destroy the basis upon which they have built for decade after decade a system, a network that viciously sucks the energy and the economic power from everybody else in society.“

On Australia's prime minister, John Howard:

“That awful little man.”

On (sort of) embodying a House of Cards ruthlessness:

"To those who say that, effectively, this is a referendum on the euro, my answer is: You may very well say this but I shall not comment. This is your judgement, your opinion, your interpretation. Not ours!"

On the people responsible for Greece's bailout:

“[They're] a committee built on rotten foundations.”

Channeling President Roosevelt:

"FDR, 1936: “They are unanimous in their hate for me; and I welcome their hatred.” A quotation close to my heart (& reality) these days"

When asked if he'd sign bailout proposals that didn't include a restructuring of Greece's debts:

“I'd prefer to cut my arm off.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments