In a statement published on his personal blog on Monday, Varoufakis said he was stepping down to allow Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to reach a new deal with European creditors.
“I was made aware of a certain “preference” by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted “partners”, for my…”
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned after Greek voters delivered an overwhelming “No” vote in a referendum on whether to accept more austerity measures in return for new bailout cash.
During the past five months of negotiations between Athens and its worldwide creditors, the self-described erratic Marxist seemed more at ease chatting with unemployed anarchists than with fellow European finance ministers, who often groaned about his blunt negotiating tactics.
Greece’s immediate fate may lie with the European Central Bank, however.
Public opinion in Europe’s biggest economy is fast turning against any further aid to Greece, and Merkel’s vice-chancellor, Social Democrat Sigmar Gabriel, said on Sunday that Tsipras had torn down the last bridges of compromise with the euro zone.
Yanis Varoufakis, who was Greece’s finance minister until Monday morning, was reportedly pushed from his job after he told a journalist that Greece could introduce a parallel currency in the weeks ahead.
But she was not discouraged – she thinks a landmark “no” vote in a nationwide referendum Sunday has bonded Greeks together.
Unless Athens is able to reach an agreement quickly over the terms of a new bailout package, the ECB is unlikely to agree to raise the ceiling on emergency funding it provides to the country’s banks.
The Greek government is the most likely source of fresh capital, but Athens is also short of funds and would need to borrow more money, from other eurozone countries and from the IMF, to rescue its banks.
“We of the left know how to act collectively with no care for the privileges of office”, said Varoufakis, who had become a focal point for friction in meetings with Greece’s creditors.
Another problem with any future debt negotiations is that Greece’s creditors do not agree among themselves.
He called for the prompt conclusion of “an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favor of the needy, and real reforms“.
Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s vice chancellor and economic minister, told a German newspaper the Greek government was leading its people “onto a path of bitter austerity and hopelessness”. I don’t want to lose the dream for a better Greece.