Who is the New Finance Minister?

Earthquake Metaphor

Syriza – the hard left party behind a seismic shift in Europe.

Note the metaphor of earthquake and sudden violent change “a seismic shift”.

Stage or Film Metaphor

Elected against a backdrop of austerity, recession and massive unemployment.

Note the metaphor from cinema or theatre. Actors perform in front of a backdrop. Are politicians actors? Which famous politicians were once movie stars?

Ron Paul
Joresph Estrada
Ronald Reagan
George Bush
Arnold Schwazzennegger
Barack Obama

Metaphor of Storm and Physical Collision

It is set for stormy times as it collides with the European Union over renegotiation of Greece’s massive debt.

In this metaphor, the negotiations between Greece and the Eurozone are cast as “stormy” (dangerous) and violent (collision).

Metaphor of Fire

And the man charged with leading Greece’s negotiations, rather than a firebrand radical, is a self-styled accidental economist.

A firebrand is a burning stick. Is the Finance Minister dangerous and hot like fire?

The simple answer is “no”.

Yanis Varoufakis is a Greek

Media savvy 53 year old Yanis Varoufakis gained thousands of fans and followers with his tv appearances, blogs and poetic tweets about economics and austerity.

Reference to a Song

Greece is absolutely irreversibly committed to staying in the Eurozone. You see the problem is, once you are in – just like if you recall the Eagles song Hotel California – “you can check out any time you like but you can never leave.

Simile or Metaphor?

He rejects convention, saying that his approach to economics is like “an atheist theologian in a middle ages monastery”.

Note the use of “like”. A simile is a type of metaphor. We see one thing in terms of another.


He studied at Essex University before teaching at universities around the world.

Metaphor of Conflict

An international man now needed to face Greece’s international creditors. He will be up against the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF.

Note “he will be up against” frames the meeting as a conflict or competition.

Winners and Losers

“The problem with the way that Europe has been dealing with its crises since 2010 is that everybody is a loser. When we could have a much more rational way of dealing with the crisis where the average European citizen pays less for this unfolding never-ending debacle.”

Is life a competition? Can we live together and everybody has enough? Or do we have to compete like animals to see who is the winner and who is the loser?

Link to Employment Vocabulary

Link to an interactive story about a stormy life

Link to easy reading and vocabulary activity about a Storm.