The short and explosive career of Yanis Varoufakis, Greece's rockstar finance minister

Yanis VaroufakisREUTERS/Alkis KonstantinidisGreek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis attends a news conference to present the ministry’s new general secretaries at the ministry building in Athens March 4, 2015.

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis stepped down on Monday morning, after the country’s bailout referendum delivered the decisive “No” he had campaigned for.

Varoufakis had a short but remarkable career at the top of European politics, storming from relative obscurity, to headline news, and resigning all within six months.

The anti-austerity economics professor clashed constantly with his European colleagues, and made at least one memorable gaffe.

Now that he’s ready to ride his trademark motorbike off into the sunset, take a look at Yanis Varoufakis’ half-year in office.

Varoufakis was drafted in from a more sedate life as an economics professor. In fact, it wasn't clear until January this year that he was running for parliament.

And after the anti-austerity Syriza party stormed to power, new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appointed Varoufakis to be his finance minister.

He quickly became seen as the ideological opposite number to Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany's flinty finance minister.

Like Tsipras, Varoufakis was always tie-less and picked up massive media attention when visiting other European leaders.

As a result, he quickly became a bit of a star -- this graphic novel-style poster celebrating him was just one of many tributes.

One German satirical take painted him as a laser-firing colossus, bearing down on the rest of Europe.

Varoufakis also clashed with Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem. At one of the earlier meetings, French media reported that onlookers actually expected a physical fight.

Meanwhile Varoufakis seemed unable to gain much from potential allies, such as French finance minister Michel Sapin, making it 18 versus 1 in tense Eurogroup meetings.

Other figures like Spanish finance minister Luis De Guindos have domestic Syriza-like movements to deal with, and so didn't want to offer Varoufakis concessions.

In February, Varoufakis tentatively agreed to a bailout extension of a few months, so that Athens could make a bigger push for debt relief later.

Varoufakis ran into constant roadblocks with Greece's creditors, even when he was the best-dressed finance minister in the room.

A video surfaced in March of Varoufakis gesturing and saying 'give Germany the finger'. He suggested it was doctored, but it turned out to be real.

He was also criticised after posing for glossy French magazine Paris Match along with his wife, for which he apologised afterwards.

In April, he quoted former US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, saying 'I welcome their hatred' about his European critics.

Varoufakis rides a motorbike, which became part of his rebellious public image.

After Tsipras' announcement that Greece would hold a referendum, Varoufakis brought in capital controls, limiting ATM withdrawals to €60 per day and shutting banks.

He told Channel 4's Paul Mason that the government had a deal ready to sign if Greece voted 'No'. He also said banks would reopen on Tuesday.

Now, that's looking extremely unlikely -- but Varoufakis is out, and someone else will have to deal with that.

Now that you've seen this ...

Anti-Euro protesters scuffle with riot police at the European Union Representation offices in Athens, Greece, July 2, 2015.

Check out what happened on the ground in Greece during the frantic week before its crucial referendum.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at