Published on 12 Feb 2015 Sections , , ,

Yanis Varoufakis: from Dylan Thomas to Titanic

He was elected to renegotiate Greek’s international bailout. But Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is just as famous for the way he talks about economics. Here are some of his best quotes.

Cow (Getty Images)


“Had history been democratic in its ways, there would have been no farming and no indsturial revolution. Both leaps into the future were occasioned by unbearably painful crises that made most people wish they could recoil into the past.”

The Global Minotaur, by Yanis Varoufakis, published 2011

California builting (Getty Images)

Hotel California

“Greece is absolutely, irreversibly committed to staying in the eurozone (…) The problem is that once you’re in, it goes just like the Eagles on Hotel California – you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

Yanis Varoufakis, speaking to CNN

Wild west showdown (Getty Images)

Wild west showdown

“This is what journalists love to portray the situation as – as a kind of wild west showdown. This is not it. What we have here is different European governments with a common objective.

Yanis Varoufakis, speaking to Paul Mason on Channel 4 News, 2 February 2015

Man running urgently (Getty Images)


“Urgency is the essence at the moment. We are perhaps the government that has the least amount of time, of leeway, compared to any other government that was ever elected since the second world war.

Yanis Varoufakis, speaking to Paul Mason on Channel 4 News, 2 February 2015

Grasshopper (Getty Images)

Grasshopper v ant

Aesop told the famous parable of the ant who saved for the winter months and the grasshopper who did not […] Grasshoppers in every eurozone country, and beyond, caused this crisis. But now it’s the ants – in Germany and in Greece – that are paying for it.

Yanis Varoufakis, speaking on Channel 4 News, February 2012

Karl Marx and Aristotle (Getty Images)

Greeks and Germans

“To understand the euro crisis, we must remember that there is no such thing as “the Greeks” and “the Germans”.

Yanis Varoufakis, speaking on Channel 4 News, February 2012

Dylan Thomas (Getty Images)

Dying of the light

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

Yanis Varoufakis references Dylan Thomas on his blog, 26 January 2015

Man sucking (Getty Images)

Sucking the energy

“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.”

Yannis Varoufakis, speaking on Channel 4 News

Helena Bonham Carter and Leonardo Di Caprio in Titanic (Getty Images)


“(The eurozone) resembles a fine riverboat that was launched on a still ocean in 2000. And then the first storm that hit it, in 2008, started creating serious structural problems for it. We started leaking water. And of course, the people in the third class, as in the Titanic, start feeling the drowning effects first.”

Yanis Varoufakis, speaking on Channel 4 News, 26 January 2015

Man rolling up sleeves (Getty Images)

Binding together

“The whole of Europe is going to bind together and do its job.”

Yanis Varoufakis, speaking to Paul Mason on Channel 4 News, 2 February 2015