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Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis resigns

6th Jul 2015
Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis resigns
[Photo: Supporters of the YES vote to referendum hold a demonstration in front of Greek Parliament in Athens. Photographer: Ayhan Mehmet/Anadolu Agency]
By Andrew Jay Rosenbaum
 

ANKARA (AA) – Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has announced his resignation with a note on his website and a tweet: “Minister No More!”.

Greece voted in a referendum to decisively reject further austerity measures proposed by its creditors.

More than 61 percent of the voters backed the government stance, as the turnout hovered around 60 percent

In an online statement, Varoufakis wrote: “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”.

The unexpected resignation of the Greek minister has sent shockwaves in Athens and beyond, which comes just a day after the Greeks voted “No” in the bailout referendum. About Sunday’s referendum, he said: “The referendum of 5th July will stay in history as a unique moment when a small European nation rose up against debt-bondage.

“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. 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,” he added.

Varoufakis also hinted that his support for the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras would not end with his resignation.

“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,” he said.

“We of the Left know how to act collectively with no care for the privileges of office. I shall support fully Prime Minister Tsipras, the new Minister of Finance, and our government. The superhuman effort to honour the brave people of Greece, and the famous OXI (NO) that they granted to democrats the world over, is just beginning,” he added.

 

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