Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s outspoken finance minister, has resigned one day after Greece’s historic referendum vote rejecting conditions of a bailout for the country.
Varoufakis had compared Greece’s creditors to terrorists said that the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, thought that it would be better for him to resign after getting pressure from European Leaders.
Announcing his resignation in a blog post titled ‘Minister no More!’ on Monday, he wrote: “Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants [eurozone finance ministers], and assorted ‘partners’, for my … ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the prime minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.
“I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum.
“And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.”
While his resignation may help talks, it might have come a little too late for some who may have felt that Mr. Varoufakis had a corrosive effect on the negotiations.
“He made things difficult for himself and his fellow ministers both by his behaviour and what he said. To say that it wasn’t nice to hear him more or less saying that his fellow ministers were terrorists is of course an understatement”, Belgian Finance Minister Mr Johan Van Overtveldt told a Belgian radio show on Monday morning.
61% of the electorate voted no in Sunday’s referendum, with the No vote winning in all areas.
Meanwhile, international markets have fallen amid fears that Greece may leave the Euro.
By Fiona Carty