Greece's finances

Yanis Varoufakis: Debt, Deals, Dogmatism

Nikos Pilos HB
Yanis Varoufakis holds dual citizenship of Greece and Australia and studied economics in the U.S. and U.K.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If the Greek government can reach an agreement on its debts with its euro-zone partners, it may be able to stay in the euro zone.

  • Facts


    • The eurogroup of finance ministers recently agreed to give Greece four months to work on a reform package conditional to further funding.
    • According to the Greek statistical office, the country has €315.5 billion in debt.
    • Greece has €2 billion in repayments due in March.
  • Audio


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Over the weekend, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis talked with Handelsblatt’s Gert Hoehler about Greece’s debt, the negotiations so far and what he hopes will happen next. Mr. Varoufakis is something of a celebrity economist. He is known for being analytical, an original thinker and an expert in game theory. In jeans and a sweater, his weekend gear of choice, he talked about economic theory and his rock star status.


Handelsblatt: Mr. Varoufakis, it seems as though the international media is more interested in the way you dress than your policies. Does that annoy you?

Yanis Varoufakis: Very much so. But celebrity culture has always annoyed me throughout my life, even when I wasn’t part of it.

Are you happy with your media image?

To tell you the truth, I haven’t had much time to think about it. People tell me that I am part of the star system. All I have to say is that I wish that wasn’t the case.

You’ve been in office for five weeks now. Do you have many friends in the eurogroup?

The eurogroup isn’t a place where people go to make fast friendships. But despite what many journalists are saying, my relationship with all my colleagues is very civil, even friendly.

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