Former Valve Economist Resigns as Greece's Finance Minister After Just Six Months

Yanis Varoufakis steps down from his post amid the Greek debt crisis.

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The esteemed economics theory professor that PC gaming giant Valve hired in 2012, who later left to become Greece's Finance Minister, has resigned from his post amid the country's economic plight.

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Yanis Varoufakis announced his resignation from his position on Monday in a blog post titled "Minister No More!" His departure comes amid the financial crisis in Greece. Varoufakis became Greece's Finance Minister just six months ago; at the time, he vowed to enact "genuine reforms" to repair the country's situation.

CNNMoney reports that Varoufakis had a style all his own, one that might not have served him well.

"During his time in government, Varoufakis refused to adopt the mannerisms of a conventional European politician," the site wrote. "Instead, he dressed informally and loudly. He frequently appeared in media, launching biting rhetorical attacks against rival negotiators and governments."

In his farewell blog post, Varoufakis said his departure from Greece's government might help Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras come to an agreement with creditors. His resignation comes less than a day after Greece rejected Europe's bailout offer.

"Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners', for my… 'absence' from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement," he explained. "For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today."

Varoufakis was personally headhunted by Valve boss Gabe Newell and was officially hired by the gaming company in June 2012. A self-proclaimed "ignoramus" about video games, Varoufakis worked with Valve to analyze the in-game economies that surround its franchises. He went on to publish articles on the nature of digital economies.

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pcostix

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Edited By pcostix

This guy got fired because, he decided to affront the installed powers in EU.

He fought for his country instead of just taking it like the other countries with financial problems did.(Spain,Portugal, Ireland,Etc...)

The problem of the finacial crisis is not in Greece alone, it's in the EU and Germany in particular, that forces value of Euro to stay too high(serving Germans interests), instead of devaluing the Euro currency to represent the average economy of all countries in the Euro Zone.

When Varoufakis started to go against Germans interests, Schauble refused to negotiate further with him.... thats how he got fired.

Never heard or saw him being disrespectful to anyone, but saw plenty of disrespect to him.

PS:I'm not even greek.

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rogerjak

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@pcostix: This prob in greece and in all other countries in EU is caused by th greed othe bigger powers, Germany included.

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jenovaschilld

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@pcostix: Please read one comment below this one -everyone.

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jenovaschilld

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No matter what side of the issue you fall on, he (Yanis Varoufakis) was only there for his own self interest. Constant drama, unsolicited news conferences, name calling and insults is not away for public officers to represent Greece's people in such important negotiations. If you want to make a name for yourself and be seen - go on a reality TV show.

"Ordinary citizens, pensioners, sick people and children in kindergarten should not pay a price for the dramatic situation ... therefore, a humanitarian programme is needed immediately," Schulz said.

"I hope that the Greek government will, in the next few hours, make meaningful and constructive proposals, allowing that they are meaningful and possible to renegotiate. If not, we are entering into a very difficult and even dramatic time."

After the no vote, Yanis, resigned as promised as many nations and players promised not to work with him due to his dramatic antics, name calling, and other issues which will allow Greece a shot at working something out with the other EU countries. The sad part is, I am afraid many more 'players' like Yanis Varoufakis will come pouring out to gain attention and recognition as he will probably go on to lucrative lobbying and pundit positions.

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pcostix

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Edited By pcostix

@jenovaschilld: Could u please point me to a single article where he was disrespectful?

Because I don't ever recall him saying anything disrespectful, unless disagreeing with Germany is lack of education now.

The Media tried to discredit him in many articles, but you never heard from his mouth or read any quote from him being disrespectul.

Maybe german propaganda at work?

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jenovaschilld

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Edited By jenovaschilld

@pcostix: http://news.yahoo.com/greek-finance-minister-varoufakis-resigns-statement-054451910.html

http://news.yahoo.com/greeces-departing-finance-minister-brash-end-183222026.html

https://in.news.yahoo.com/greek-finance-minister-quits-creditors-ponder-post-no-142618003.html

Look I get passionate debate and negotiations, even trying to be edgy but during negotiations for something as important as bailout for the fine people of Greece and the interests of the EU, a certain level of respect and professionalism needs to be practiced. While most of his fellow negotiators kept quiet with no behind the back press releases, some of them did report Yanis was unprofessional, disruptive, grandstanding, and even childish. While he made statements to the press like 'terrorists' name calling, he made it impossible to progress any kind of work. If I was representing my country for such a historically important issue that would effect not only my country men but also their children, I would worry less about my own publicity and own agenda, and instead concentrate more on the people of Greece. Drama, drama, drama, pundit on 24- hr news channel.

This is not a pro german, pro EU, pro Greece discussion, it is nothing more then a little man with a history of flamboyancy prostituting himself in front of the press in hopes of his own reality show like young Chefs on the food network. I believe they call it Donald Trump-ing, now.

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pcostix

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@jenovaschilld: Ok, maybe he didn't have a diplomatic attitutde. He was never a politic right from the begining, but he was never disrespectful to anyone.

The link's you provided only talk about reports of people allegedly offended by him, not the comments themselves.

Those reports of the meetings also came at a time when some Financial Ministers(not only the German, but also other nordic countries ministers) were trying to discredit him.

Varoufakis also hurried to refuse any of those "disrespectful comments" he was acused.(I didn't trouble myself to find the interview to the reporter, but if you rly need the link I'll search for it)

Also EU and EUA found disrespectul that Syriza the party in government on Greece, refused negotiate with FMI representatives. Wich is not disrespectful, they had every right to do so.

My point is, saying Varoufakis didn't have an usual attitude in the press conferences is one thing,but saying he was disrespectful and inconpetent is going way too far.

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jenovaschilld

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@pcostix:

The moon? The sun! It is not moonlight now.

The moon? You mean the sun! It is not nighttime now.

I say it is the moon that shines so bright.

I know it’s the sun that shines so bright.

Forward, I pray, since we have come so far,

And be it moon, or sun, or what you please.

An if you please to call it a rush candle,

Henceforth I vow it shall be so for me.

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BravoOneActual

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A poor fit for government work, I suppose.

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jecomans

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Edited By jecomans

He probably decided being Finance Minister for a people that had exercised their democratic right to commit economic suicide was a lost cause? If there is one thing austerity failed to do, it was to teach the Greeks to take responsibility for their finances. Hopefully the ECB keeps propping up their insolvent banking system, though.

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bfa1509

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They should have voted Lord Gaben in.

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Suikogaiden

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Edited By Suikogaiden

Hard to believe these are the same stock of people who nearly conquered the word at one time. Now they let themselves be enslaved by bunch of bankers lol.

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Verenti

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Edited By Verenti

@Suikogaiden: No, those were Macedonians. That's a different country. #Skopje #NotSkopje

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Suikogaiden

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@Verenti:

Macedonia is today inhabited by slavic peoples but in the time of Alexander the Great they were Greek.

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Verenti

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@Suikogaiden: It's pretty clear which side of Balkan geopolitics you fall onto.

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CaptWaffle

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They spent money they didn't have. These are the typical results. They aren't enslaved by bankers; they never had any intention of paying. And it's Germany, not bankers.

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Verenti

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Apparently, this is DOTA2 related news.

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johnd13

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So we'll never get any huge steam greek-only discounts...

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Alphasim

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They didn't sell enough hats apparently.

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Pawfalcon

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@Alphasim: Ha! Give this person a lollipop.

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Thanatos2k

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Even this guy couldn't save Greece.

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elheber

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Edited By elheber

So he was basically pushed out by the creditors? Holy s***.

Imagine working for a company and having the competition get you fired.

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Verenti

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@elheber: No, that is inaccurate. He was dismissed because his gross incompetence had stalled deal-making until this point.

Greece, despite the referendum, still has to negotiate with it's creditors. They hold little power in these negotiations and should they fall apart, the Greek economy will collapse. No-one wants Greece to collapse.

And your analogy is ridiculous. This whole situation started when the "competition" gave Greece €64,000,000,000.00 to save their economy. Greece is asking for more, but is unwilling to tie further loans to structural reforms, because those reforms threaten systems the Greek people hold to have ideological value. Meanwhile, the GDP has fallen 25% since pre-crisis values. Greece is quickly "going out of business" and the so-called competitors are the only thing keeping them "in business".

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NL_Skipper

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@elheber: Eh, sounds more like he got pushed out for being unprofessional and potentially ruining negotiations.

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deactivated-5da4c0387991d

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@nl_skipper: That's the impression I got as well. He sounds like a real diva.

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smurph69

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I didn't know the now former Greek finance Minister worked for Valve.

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Verenti

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@smurph69: You don't need to say "now former". The now is completely superfluous.

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JohnieWalker84

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As a greek after reading all these comments here made me vommit.All bitter about Greece.Seriously gamespot you should only consider making articles that concern gaming only.The fact that he worked for Valve is irrelevant.Your audience gamespot does not have the knowledge or common sense to comment on financial matters as you see below.

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CaptWaffle

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I do. Not all of us are idiots. Greece has dug their own grave..... you can't spend what you don't have, encourage your workforce to retire early, give massive pensions and expect everything to be ok long-term. Germany is sick of propping up Greece.... while the Greek PM or Pres throws a socialist tantrum. The whole thing would be a comical farce were it not for the 12 million Greeks that will pay for this..... dearly.

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JRLennis

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@CaptWaffle The problem isn't as simple as you claim. Yes, the economic policies of Greece are a contributing factor to the crisis, but few people recognize the dangerously destabilizing economic policies of Germany. Fifty percent of Germany's GDP comes from exports. That is a figure no other country in Europe can hope to compete with. Germany manufactures more high-end products than it can consume, and that is no less perilous than spending money you don't have. The only reason Germany can get away with doing this is because of the Eurozone, which can't help but buy all of the products Germany makes. Greece is addicted to debt. Germany is addicted to exports. The difference is that Germany has the clout in the EU to uphold their interests, which is maintaining a Eurozone that can consume German products regardless of the imbalances it creates elsewhere.

I'm no expert on economics, but I understand when a situation, and a system, is unsustainable. The whole economic system of the EU is imbalanced. Every nation in the south, what some people call the "club Med" nations (Greece, Italy, Spain, etc.), is suffering from recession or outright depression. The normal response to such economic misfortune is for a nation to devalue its own currency until the situation stabilizes, but since "club Med" is all under the Euro, the nations of the south are stuck in an economic death spiral they cannot escape. (Greece is only the first nation to enter this black hole.) Simply asking them to accept austerity doesn't solve the underlying problem. You cannot cut your way to prosperity. Prosperity only comes through growth, and growth is exactly what they cannot do because Germany's vast manufacturing base is impossible to compete with under a unified currency. I would argue that the real problem is the Eurozone itself, rather than any particular country. Each country uses the Eurozone to further its own interests rather than the health of the system as a whole. This is what happens when multiple sovereign parties - each with its own agenda - try to play the same game. It doesn't work. The only viable solution for Europe is a political union similar to that of the United States, but this isn't likely to happen due to all of the cultural and language differences of the region, to say nothing of historical conflicts and grievances. How this will ultimately play out is anyone's guess.

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Verenti

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@johniewalker84: Well, some of us do. Some of us are eminently qualified to comment on the issue.

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deactivated-5b9a2840dcb79

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@johniewalker84: Same here. In a gaming site like Gamespot, where people fight over in comments for stuff like "console peasants vs PC master race" (??), you can't expect the audience to have mature opinions on political matters. Pointless really.

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alaannn

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@johniewalker84: neither does a greek

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Zerofrust

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Sorry mate, you were more likely to walk on water than to solve the Greek problem.

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40mdf0

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Edited By 40mdf0

Greek economics: refuse to cut welfare/entitlement spending, borrow large sums of money ('austerity' ie bailouts) and then scream NO WE DON'T HAVE TO PAY OUR DEBTS. This all leads to eventual asset liquidation under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, otherwise known as 'seizing everything that is or isn't bolted to the floor'.

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Dark_Wr4ith

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@40mdf0: Countries don't have to pay thier debts. Part of the irony with this whole mess is Germany has defaulted on thier debts several times in the past.

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jecomans

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@Dark_Wr4ith: That isn't ironic...

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CaptWaffle

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Eventually they do. One way or another. We are in a bubble period where all the leftist leaning countries in the west are borrowing/printing money to pay for excessive social programs. Greek credit rating is: junk bond status. The US has been downgraded because the world is beginning to see that we won't pay back a dime. We are in uncharted waters..... everyone untying from gold/silver standards and printing money has created an Alice in Wonderland scenerio where everyone is just pretending everything is all right while everything goes to hell. China constructs empty cities to give resources a place to go.....you really think our unemployment rate is back to 5-6%? Wrong. They manipulate the numbers. Out of work for long enough? Don't show up in the stats. Gave up? Don't show up in the stats. We have LESS people working now than we did many years ago. It's all a shell game run by professors usion unproven "economic theory" that would put any "real" business out of business very, very quickly. Socialism does not work. It never has. It depends on all factors staying the same after true capitalistic traits have been stripped away. Politicians always were terrible at knowing secondary and tertiary consequences of their "theories."

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40mdf0

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Edited By 40mdf0

@Dark_Wr4ith: Greece willingly took the bailouts, and the IMF will certainly start seizing assets. The raiding of deposits is only the start.

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Dark_Wr4ith

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@40mdf0:What's the Capital of Greece?

About €10.

:P

They won't exactly lose much, they will fall back on their weaker currency and someone else will inevitably lend them money.

They can't exactly ever pay back their debts at the rate they are going now. I don't think it's right either. But that's the way world economics works.

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Verenti

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@Dark_Wr4ith: On the contrary, switching to a new drachma will cause a rapid deterioration of per capita purchasing power as a soon-to-be periphery economy, in the world's richest market.

Ignoring the cost of replacing that much currency, the economic situation in Greece is already bad. So any new currency will be significantly devalued in the face of the Euro. This will start a negative downwards trend for the new drachma that can only remain until the economy can be stabilised.

As per loans? Who? The most ready supporters of Greece were going to be EU members and the IMF and, spoiler-alert, they've pretty much said to take a hike. China is currently dealing with a stock-market crash. Russia is having it's own economic crisis. The US is clearly reluctant. That leaves who? Dubai? Saudi Arabia? Brazil?

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40mdf0

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@Dark_Wr4ith: I don't think you understand. Anything is on the table for seizure, not just deposits left in a bank.

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Dark_Wr4ith

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@40mdf0: Dibs on the colosseum, that sh*t would look awesome in my back yard.

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jecomans

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@Dark_Wr4ith: The Parthenon?

F- that, we might as well sell off Italy whilst we're at it.

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solana200

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@Dark_Wr4ith The colosseum is in Rome...Italy.:

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alaannn

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@Dark_Wr4ith: i dont think a weaker currency will help them

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Dark_Wr4ith

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@alaannn: Well it might strengthen the economy a little bit, but who knows, basically everything has become speculation at this point >.<

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