In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said he would resign if Sunday’s referendum is a YES vote and backs terms offered by EU/Troika creditors.
With Tsipras also saying during a TV interview that he too would step down if a YES vote is delivered, the EU now has everything in place to finally be rid of SYRIZA and wrap up the full acquisition of Greece on the cheap.
Varoufakis said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Athens that he would “rather cut my arm off” than sign a deal that fails to restructure Greece’s debt. The 54-year-old economics professor said he “will not” continue in his post if Greece endorses austerity in the plebiscite.
The minister’s comments illustrate the gulf between Greece’s government, which swept into office on a wave of discontent about budget cuts, and the creditors who are threatening to push it out of the euro. European governments led by Germany have condemned last weekend’s decision by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to pull out of talks and call a snap referendum on the conditions for financial aid. Polls suggest it’s too close to call.
“Maybe we’ll change the configuration of the government.”
“We desperately want to stay in the euro,” Varoufakis said. “We are going to win on Sunday.”
Tsipras, Varoufakis and their Syriza party are urging Greeks to vote “no,” arguing that Greece can remain in the single currency on better terms if they do so — a contention rejected by creditors. A “yes” vote could lead to the collapse of the Tsipras government and fresh elections, a possibility to which Varoufakis alluded.
“Maybe we’ll change the configuration of the government because some of us will not be able to stomach it,” said Varoufakis, adding he would help ensure a smooth transition.
Varoufakis today insisted that Greece’s banks will be able to open without difficulty on Tuesday, after the planned closure is completed. He blamed creditors for shutting them down and accused them of making up rules as they go along.
“There was a political decision by Europe to shut the banks down as a way of effectively pushing us to accept a non-viable agreement,” Varoufakis said. “Once the political crisis is over, after the Greek people deliver their verdict, banks will open.”