Yanis Varoufakis, a former Valve economist, resigned today from his position as Greek Finance Minister just six months after taking the job. He quit just hours after his government won in a referendum to reject a Eurozone bailout that would have seen harsh austerity measures imposed on Greece’s already struggling economy.
Yanis Varoufakis was an economics professor based in Athens back in 2012 when Gabe Newell asked him to join Valve as an economic consultant. It was the time when Valve’s virtual economies around Team Fortress 2 and DOTA 2 started to see explosive growth. Gabe Newell wanted Varoufakis on board to help manage the growing virtual economies.
Yanis Varoufakis joined the Greek government late last year to help the country recover from its dire economic woes. He got a reputation for being quite flamboyant, as well as for being an outspoken critic of Greece’s creditors. Sadly, it seems Varoufakis was not able to pull Greece out of its financial crisis.
In a blog post, Varoufakis explains why he quit just hours after his government was victorious in the bailout referendum. “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. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.”
So it seems Varoufakis was “asked” to leave by a government that didn’t want to give its creditors any more reasons to be angry.
“I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum,” he said. “And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.”
Greece is on the verge of economic collapse, with its government struggling to reach a deal with the rest of the European Union to bail it out before it defaults on its debt. Banks and ATMs are running out of money as people are flocking to withdraw all of their cash, and it’s feared that Greece may be on the way to leaving the euro.
Maybe now is a good time for Varoufakis to think about returning to Valve.