In a statement on Yanis Varoufakis's blog released on the heels of yesterday's referendum, the Greek Finance Minister states that he will resign immediately from his post. This action is a bid to give leverage to Greece's Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, in his negotiations with foreign creditors and Eurogroup members, with whom Varoufakis has a notably strained relationship. Reuters reports that "one of the reasons for Varoufakis’s resignation was reportedly an acute conflict with Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup, which includes all the finance ministers of countries in the Eurozone." The appointment of the new Greek Finance Minister will likely be announced today. (Additionally, see our post about crowdfunding Greece and framing discussion to embrace international solidarity.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
*Image of Yanis Varoufakis above via Huffington Post