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The Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, speaking at the Brookings Institute in Washington. Greece is due to repay almost €1bn to the IMF in early May. Photograph: Paul Richards/AFP/Getty
The Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, speaking at the Brookings Institute in Washington. Greece is due to repay almost €1bn to the IMF in early May. Photograph: Paul Richards/AFP/Getty

The Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned in the wake of the country’s resounding no vote rejecting the eurozone’s austerity terms.

Writing on his blog on Monday morning he said that he would be standing down immediately after pressure from Greece’s European partners.

“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,” he wrote.

The prime minister Alexis Tsipras judged this to be “potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the ministry of finance today”.

He added: “The referendum of 5 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 25 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.

“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.

He also praised 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”.

The Guardian

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