Saturday, 25 April 2015

V: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's economic recovery man

The choice of my letter V reason to be cheerful could be construed as cheating, but in the A to Z Challenge the end sometimes has to justify the means.

So the letter V is for Varoufakis, the surname of the Greek finance minister. The reason this is cheating slightly is that in the Greek alphabet his name starts with the letter β which as a capital letter looks like this, Β, but is pronounced as a V as in victory. Hence, Yanis Varoufakis in the Greek alphabet comes out as Γιάνης Βαρουφάκης.

Ever since he became finance minister following the elections in January this year, he's made quite an impression. He seems to be quite a straight shooter when it comes to saying what he thinks, he clearly knows his way round economic theory and he's got a shaven head. Oh, and let's not forget he doesn't wear a tie and sometimes does wear a leather jacket.

That's Mr Varoufakis, to you.

Bizarrely, it's his appearance that seems to earn Mr Varoufakis most attention from the media. Certainly he does cut a striking figure next to some of his anaemic-looking counterparts from other European countries, some of whom look as if they're never happier than when they're telling someone else off for not keeping all their banknotes in pristine order.

There has also been the issue of whether or not he suggested that Greeks should "give the finger" to Germany over the euro crisis. This is something he denies having done and I see no reason to doubt him.

Whether he and the rest of the Greek government can steer Greece away from economic disaster remains to be seen. He wouldn't be the first bright person to find himself beaten by the massed ranks of whingers and nitpickers. Even so, I wish him good luck, as things stand he and the rest of the government and the Greek people are going to need plenty of it.

I chose an Ian Dury song to go with this post. It celebrates the clever people there have been in human history, but I should point out there is a very modest amount of swearing. I hope this won't spoil your enjoyment of what is a good song.

  • Question: Do you think Mr Varoufakis should wear a tie or is that completely missing the point? Let me know in the comments section.


  1. Hi Mark - Varoufakis is a breath of fresh air and is knowledgeable ... how much about European politics .. that's a world of its own. It's an interesting time politically - there's so much going on ... there, around the world and here in the UK .. it's all change ...

    Cheers and good to see Varoufakis - he knows when to put a suit and tie on .. Hilary

  2. I think it's fine that he chooses to be his own man and he has his own individual style. Makes him outstanding. But one thing with the media: sometimes they miss the point: they're more likely to report on something innocuous like his attire and totally disregard the job at hand. At least it seems that way to me with many in the media. I'm glad to hear that Greece is on the way to economic recovery. Definitely a reason to rejoice!
    Oh, and I like the Ian Dury song! Here's to all the clever bastards out there... :)

  3. wow - that's a tough job. He probably needs to look like one of the Mitchell brothers from EastEnders

  4. Politics is full of bland people all keeping "on message". How good to see someone not afraid to be themselves. Love that Ian Dury song too.


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