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Thursday 8 December 2016

Greek Finance Minister quits after No vote to more austerity measures

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis attends a Eurozone finance ministers emergency meeting on the situation in Greece, in Brussels, Belgium, in this June 27, 2015 file picture. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis announced his resignation on July 6, 2015, a day after Greeks delivered a resounding 'No' to the conditions of a rescue package.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis attends a Eurozone finance ministers emergency meeting on the situation in Greece, in Brussels, Belgium, in this June 27, 2015 file picture. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis announced his resignation on July 6, 2015, a day after Greeks delivered a resounding 'No' to the conditions of a rescue package.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, whose forceful denunciations of creditors alienated many of his euro zone colleagues, resigned on Monday, saying Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras believed it would help smooth the path to a new aid deal.

His resignation comes after Greeks delivered a resounding 'No' to the conditions of a rescue package with international creditors, casting the country into uncharted waters and a possible exit from Europe's common currency.

With relations already frosty, Varoufakis infuriated Greece's European partners last week when he accused creditors of using "terrorism" against the Greek people to intimidate them into accepting more austerity.

READ MORE: Joyful Greeks take step into unknown as they reject bailout

In a statement, Varoufakis said he had been "made aware" that some members of the euro zone considered him unwelcome at meetings of finance ministers, "an idea the prime minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement".

READ MORE: Ireland should seek debt write-down when Greek crisis ends, says ex-IMF official

"For this reason I am leaving the ministry of finance today."

READ MORE: Irish resistance to austerity growing, says left-wing

"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," Varoufakis said. "And I shall wear the creditors' loathing with pride."

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