How Yanis Varoufakis became the most badass finance minister in the world

Greece maybe tumbling towards a messy default on its debt, and it may even have to exit the eurozone. But it will do so in style, thanks to Yanis Varoufakis.

The Greek finance minister has taken Europe’s economic institutions by storm, found his way onto the front page of every newspaper and (reportedly) into the hearts of plenty of German women.

And he’s barely been in politics for four months.

Whether you’re in awe or loathe him, there’s no avoiding Yanis Varoufakis.

Before he got into politics, Varoufakis was an academic, and spent some time as chief economist of video game company Valve.

Varoufakis only announced he would run for election in January 2015, less than three weeks before the government actually came into power.

A few days after the election Varoufakis had an incredibly awkward back-and-forth with Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem, setting the frosty diplomatic tone.

A similarly frosty meeting with German finance minister Wolfgang Schaueble elevated Varoufakis' status as the face of opposition to austerity in Europe.

The dress-down biker image he's refusing to drop makes his colleagues around the world look stuffy -- he's yet to be seen in a tie.

He makes other finance ministers, like Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, look a little over-dressed.

When he's not slamming austerity and finding time to talk about Bitcoin, Yanis rides a motorbike, which is a little difficult to imagine George Osborne doing.

At his first Eurogroup meeting, Varoufakis competed for the title of best dressed with IMF chief Christine Lagarde (his Burberry scarf is worth about €500).

Relations between Dijsselbloem and Varoufakis were so tense that onlookers thought they would actually fight, according to French media reports.

Germany's Stern magazine has called Varoufakis an example of 'classical masculinity' and he has been immortalised in this graphic novel-style poster.

Varoufakis' name was pained on the wall of a shopping centre near Berlin's television tower at the end of March.

The finance minister was embroiled in controversy over whether he suggested Greece should 'stick the middle finger to Germany' in and old video (he did).

Satirical German TV show Neo Magazin Royale, which whipped up the fake finger scandal, also portrayed Varoufakis shooting laser beams out of his eyes.

Varoufakis and Danae Stratou, his wife, appeared in a photoshoot for Paris Match -- it was seen as flaunting their comfortable lifestyle, and he said that he regrets it.

The world has had finance minister heartthrobs before -- Argentinian fiscal chief Axel Kicillof has made headlines, but Varoufakis has the crown now.

He now leads a finance ministry that's scrambling to avoid a default -- but at least if it comes to that, he'll look good doing it.

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