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Cashing In
Varoufakis Charging $60,000 per Speech

A new story is going viral in Greece: Yanis Varoufakis, the flamboyant motorcycle-driving self-described “Marxist libertarian” former finance minister, a man whose policies drove Greece into an even deeper hole, is collecting hefty speaking fees in an offshore bank account. The Times of London reports:

[Varoufakis] is allegedly charging almost £40,000 for speeches he is invited to make worldwide, seeking payment via an HSBC bank account in Oman, according to reports.

An email published by the Athens newspaper Proto Thema purportedly showed an agent of the London Speaker Bureau, which manages Mr Varoufakis, citing $60,000 as the standard fee for engagements outside Europe.

The price drops to $5,000 for speaking events within Europe and $1,500 for in-house university lectures.

Wherever he is speaking, Mr Varoufakis “would also require business-class travel, accommodation, airport and ground transfers, meals and incidentals”, Tatjana Marinko, the agent, wrote in reply to a query from a Proto Thema reporter posing as a prospective client.

The reports contradict claims by the former finance minister that he had received only €1,100 for more than 40 paid appearances at public speaking events since he resigned from the finance ministry three months ago.

Per the OECD Better Life Index, the average Greek household has a disposable income of $18,575 per year—less than a third of what Mr. Varoufakis makes per speech. And of course, while Finance Minister, Mr. Varoufakis threatened Greeks who kept money in offshore bank accounts or concealed offshore income with audits. But perhaps we are being too harsh on the old Marxist when we point this out. After all, Mr. Varoufakis is the vanguard of the proletariat—maybe one day we will all live like this, comrades.

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  • Andrew Allison

    I wonder if he’s paid his taxes?

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