Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on Monday has resigned, saying he was told shortly after the Greek referendum result that the some eurozone finance ministers and Greece’s other creditors would prefer he not attend the ministers’ meetings.
As per the results of the referendum, the “No” side won with a higher than expected 61.31 per cent, while “Yes” got 38.69 pc.
A total of 6.16 million Greeks voted in Sunday’s referendum, or 62.5 pc of eligible voters. The poll needed a minimum 40 pc turnout to be valid.
Varoufakis said in a release that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had judged that Varoufakis’ resignation “might help achieve a deal” and that he was leaving the finance ministry for this reason.
Varoufakis is known for his brash style and fondness for frequent media appearances at the start of his tenure when the new government was formed in January.
He had visibly annoyed many of the eurozone’s finance ministers during Greece’s debt negotiations.
He said in a statement released by the Finance Ministry that it is crucial there is a “proper resolution” involving debt restructuring immediately.
He said the prime minister had judged it “potentially helpful to him” if he is absent from the upcoming meetings with Greece’s creditors.
“I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride,” he said, adding that he fully supports the prime minister and the government.
Varoufakis said in his resignation statement that his decision was made to further strengthen the Greek peoples’ cause.
“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.
He hailed the “no” vote in the referendum as a victory for democracy that would have global impact.
“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 said.
No replacement has yet been named so far.