Educating Yanis Varoufakis: Greek finance minister and his English mentor MP Stuart Holland

Oliver Smith
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Yanis Varoufakis is “brilliant, and he’s very well informed”
Former British MP Stuart Holland, who calls newly elected Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis a close friend of over a decade having worked with him on a number of academic economics papers, last night said he felt more confident than ever in Greece’s economy.

“He is brilliant, and he’s very well informed because we’ve been on to this for 15 years now,” Holland told City A.M.

Holland, now an academic economist and visiting economics professor at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, worked alongside Varoufakis to write a paper entitled A Modest Proposal for Resolving the Eurozone Crisis in 2010.

Varoufakis and Holland became friends over a decade ago when Varoufakis invited Holland to give seminars to his faculty at the University of Athens, they quickly hit it off sharing many of the same views on Europe.

“I’m very pro-Europe, the need for joint-European action is vital... but the Brussels agenda is deadly,” says Holland, who advised former Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou while he was in office.

Varoufakis, who has been outspoken in his criticism of European policy-makers, could face his greatest challenges fighting Europe, but Holland is confident Varoufakis has what it takes to win some battles. “Brussels is a blank space, these guys just don’t know anything, they are not anything like as well-informed as Yanis is.”

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