Ioannis Georgiou “Yanis” Varoufakis (Greek: Ιωάννης Γεωργίου “Γιάνης” Βαρουφάκης, translit. Ioánnis Georgíou “Giánis” Varoufákis, pronounced [ˈʝanis varuˈfacis]; born 24 March 1961) is a Greek economist, academic and politician, who served as the Greek Minister of Finance from January to July 2015, when he resigned. Varoufakis was a Syriza member of the Hellenic Parliament (MP) for Athens B from January to September 2015.
Varoufakis was born in Athens in 1961 and attended Moraitis School before moving to the United Kingdom, where he studied mathematics at the University of Essex before attaining a postgraduate degree in mathematical statistics at University of Birmingham and a PhD in economics at Essex. He began a career in academic economics, teaching at the universities of Essex, East Anglia and Cambridge between 1982 and 1988. Following Margaret Thatcher’s third election victory in 1987, Varoufakis left the UK and moved to Australia, where he taught at the University of Sydney until 2000. He returned to Greece that year to teach at the University of Athens, where he led a doctoral program and was promoted to full professor in 2005. Following this, Varoufakis had periods of advising George Papandreou and working as the economist-in-residence for Valve Corporation before moving to the United States to teach at the University of Texas at Austin. Varoufakis has published a number of texts on economics and game theory, such as The Global Minotaur.
In January 2015, Varoufakis was appointed Greek Minister of Finance, and led negotiations with Greece’s creditors during the Greek government-debt crisis. However, he failed to reach an agreement with the European troika, leading to the 2015 Greek bailout referendum. While the referendum rejected the troika bailout terms, the day following the referendum Varoufakis resigned as Minister of Finance and was replaced by Euclid Tsakalotos. On 24 August, Varoufakis voted against the third bailout package, and in the ensuing September snap election, did not stand for re-election. Varoufakis has since appeared in numerous debates, lectures, and interviews. In February 2016, he launched the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25), and subsequently backed a Remain vote in the UK’s European Union membership referendum 2016.
In late October 2018, Varoufakis announced the upcoming launch of the Progressive International with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.