Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (pictured) announced his resignation earlier on Monday on his personal blog.
“Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, 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,” Mr. Varoufakis noted.
“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,” he added.
The Greek economist described the victory for “no” with over 60 percent of the vote in Sunday’s referendum as “historic” and a “superhuman effort” but he also stressed that it is now necessary for Athens to reach a deal with creditors.
“Like all struggles for democratic rights, so too this historic rejection of the Eurogroup’s 25th June ultimatum comes with a large price tag attached,” he wrote.
“It is, therefore, essential that the great capital bestowed upon our government by the splendid NO vote be invested immediately into a YES to a proper resolution – to an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour of the needy, and real reforms.”
Greek Government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis said that “Yanis Varoufakis as Finance Minister played a leading role in the negotiations (with creditors from the EC, ECB and IMF) from the first day of the government. The Prime Minister feels the need to thank him for his continuous efforts in endorsing the government’s positions and the Greek nation’s interests under difficult conditions.”
Mr. Sakellarides added that Varoufakis’ replacement will be announced after the summit of Greek party political leaders that is still underway in the country’s presidential palace.
According to Reuters news agency, Minister for international economic affairs Euclid Tsakalotos has emerged as the clear favourite to fill the post.