Ten years after their divorce and despite their hectic lives, Yanis Varoufakis speaks with his Greek Australian ex-wife Margarite Poulos and their daughter by telephone almost every day.
She recently gave an exclusive interview to The Australian Financial Review (AFR).
According to the AFR, Margarite Poulos, as a hip young teaching graduate, once caught the eye, engaged the mind and eventually married Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s new finance minister and, according to more breathless elements of the European press, the economic gods’ latest gift to women.
Poulos has heard it all before, and is acutely aware of the more serious aspects of what now lies ahead for her former husband.
Varoufakis was in Sydney late last year when snap elections were called in a Greece riven by economic and political crisis.
Poulos believes -and hopes – that a compromise agreement will be found.
She also refuses to rake over the details of her slow-burn romance and marriage to Varoufakis, more than confirm what we already know: that they met in a Greek restaurant in Newtown, in Sydney’s bohemian inner-west, in the early-1990s, while he was teaching economics at nearby Sydney University and she was completing her first degree.
His charisma, on and off campus, was renowned, helped by his unusual specialisation in game theory, a mathematically-based discipline which has evolved into a broader behavioural strain of economics. A Beautiful Mind, the 2001 movie based on the life of mathematical genius John Forbes Nash, provides insights to the study.
Poulos and Varoufakis became a couple about a year after their Newtown introduction and eventually wed, before heading to Athens in 2001, where he took up an academic post and she worked on her doctoral thesis related to the Greek civil war.
After a stretch living between Athens and Sydney, Poulos returned to her birthplace definitively in 2005 to raise the couple’s daughter. As his academic career blossomed in Athens and then Houston, Texas, hers took her to lecturing posts at Sydney University and then the University of Western Sydney, where she currently teaches modern European history.
Their close connection, 10 years on means Poulos still takes an avid interest in the politics of Greece.
She says Greece’s struggles since the global financial crisis made the election of Alexis Tsipras’ left-wing party in January probable, if not inevitable.
Returning to the central themes of Greece and her ex-husband, Poulos agrees that Varoufakis is a “very intense individual”.
“Let’s just say that his formidable personality rivalled mine,” she says.
Source: Australian Financial Review