Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s embattled finance minister, has resigned his post, saying the move could help Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reach an agreement with creditors.
“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,” Varoufakis wrote in a blog post early Monday.
“For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today,” he continued. “I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.”
Greece’s Ministry of Finance confirmed his departure in a separate statement.
During his time in government, Varoufakis refused to adopt the mannerisms of a conventional European politician. Instead, he dressed informally and loudly. He frequently appeared in media, launching biting rhetorical attacks against rival negotiators and governments.
While it may have appealed to populists, critics said his style failed to win many fans in the negotiating room.
The resignation comes just hours after Greece voted against Europe’s latest bailout offer, raising the prospect that the country could now suffer a worse economic disaster and lose its place in the euro.
More than 60% heeded left-wing Tsipras’ call to vote “no.” He hopes to force Europe to hand over more money with less austerity attached, and cancel some of Greece’s enormous debt.
Thousands of Greeks celebrated in the streets of Athens after the vote on Sunday. But the result sets Greece on an uncertain path that could force it to abandon the euro and print its own currency — with huge damage to the economy.
Varoufakis, in another blog post, said the vote was a “majestic, big YES to a democratic Europe.”
“It is a NO to the dystonic vision of a Eurozone that functions like an iron cage for its peoples,” he said.
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