Following the resounding “no,” vote to the bailout terms offered by EU, and the huge crowd that amassed Athens’ central Syntagma Square, The outspoken finance minister and self-proclaimed “erratic Marxist” Yanis Varoufakis resigned from his position on Monday. The resignation has somehow “eliminated” a major obstacle to any last-minute deal to keep Athens in the euro zone after the referendum ended with a 61.3% majority of voters rejecting the terms.
Yanis Varoufakis infuriated euro zone collaborates with his unconventional style and bullish lectures and had campaigned for Sunday’s sweeping ‘No’ vote, accusing Greece’ creditors of “terrorism.”
“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 said in a statement.
Following the sacrifice of the strident Yanis Varoufakis after he promised Greeks that he would win a better deal within a day of their overwhelming referendum vote, the situation thus implies that leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is determined to try to reach a final compromise with European leaders.
With banks closed, cash machines dried and sympathy for Athens among EU governments reaching its limits, Greece’s fate now lies in the hands of the European Central Bank and of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The ECB’s policymaking governing council was holding a conference call on Monday to decide how long to go on keeping Greek banks afloat after the overwhelming rejection of bailout terms the central bank had helped to shape.
Merkel, who is currently under a ton of pressure in Germany to cut Greece loose from the euro zone, meets French President Francois Hollande in Paris later in the day to seek a joint response ahead of an emergency summit of euro zone leaders in Brussels on Tuesday.
Public opinion in Europe’s biggest economy is fast turning against any further aid to Greece, and Merkel’s vice-chancellor, Social Democrat Sigmar Gabriel, said on Sunday that Tsipras had torn down the last bridges of compromise with the euro zone.
After five years of economic turmoil and mass unemployment, the Greeks have had enough after electors voted 61.3% ‘No’ to the bailout conditions that the leftist SYRIZA rejected early this month, a decision that has casted Greece into the unknown.
“You made a very brave choice,” Tsipras said in a televised address as euphoric supporters jammed Athens’ central Syntagma Square to celebrate the act of defiance of Europe’s political and financial establishment.
“The mandate you gave me is not the mandate of a rupture with Europe, but a mandate to strengthen our negotiating position to seek a viable solution.”