Finance minister quits

By: AP July 07,2015 - 08:43 AM

 

YANIS VAROUFAKIS (Source: WEB)

YANIS VAROUFAKIS (Source: WEB)

ATHENS, Greece — Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resigned Monday, saying he was told shortly after Greece’s decisive referendum result that some other eurozone finance ministers and the country’s other creditors would appreciate his not attending the ministers’ meetings.

Varoufakis said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had judged that his resignation “might help achieve a deal” and that he was leaving the finance ministry for that reason.

READ: Exporters not worried about Greece default

“I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride,” Varoufakis said in his announcement.

Greeks voted overwhelmingly to reject creditors’ proposal of more austerity measures in return for rescue loans, in the country’s first referendum in 41 years Sunday.

With his brash style and fondness for frequent media appearances at the start of his tenure at the ministry when the new government was formed in January, Varoufakis had visibly annoyed many of the eurozone’s finance ministers during Greece’s debt negotiations.

Tsipras was elected on promises to repeal the austerity demanded in return for a bailout from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund, and negotiations broke down late last month after dragging on unsuccessfully for five months.

Demonstrators (left) holding letters to form a banner take part in a protest against the European Central Bank in Trafalgar Square, London, over Greece’s debt repayments. Above,  the Greek crisis has affected most the pensioners who didn’t receive their pensions after the banks declared bank holidays. (AP Photos)

Demonstrators (above) holding letters to form a banner take part in a protest against the European Central Bank in Trafalgar Square, London, over Greece’s debt repayments. Above, the Greek crisis has affected most the pensioners who didn’t receive their pensions after the banks declared bank holidays.
(AP Photos)

With his hight-stakes gamble to call a referendum on creditor proposals with just a week’s notice, Tsipras aimed to show creditors that Greeks, whose economy has been shattered and who face spiralling unemployment and poverty, have had enough and that the austerity prescribed isn’t working.

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TAGS: ATHENS, eurozone countries, Greece, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, International Monetary Fund

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