Varoufakis vows to resign if Greeks vote for austerity

3 Jul 15

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has confirmed he will resign if the country votes “yes” in favour of the austerity deal offered by international creditors on Sunday.

Varoufakis said he would “prefer to cut my arm off” than sign a deal which did not include debt restructuring.

After talks last week broke down, Greek Prime Minister Alexi Tsipras called a referendum for 5 July to allow voters to decide whether to accept creditors’ proposals for more austerity in exchange for more loans.

Tsipras is advocating a “no” vote, saying it would give him the authority to negotiate a better deal for Greece within the eurozone. Opposition parties in Greece have said, however, that a “no” vote would drive Greece out of the euro and into an even more impoverished future.

Opinion polls suggest that the vote is neck and neck, with 47% of the 1,000 adults surveyed by pollsters GPO on Tuesday saying that were leaning towards voting “yes” and 43% towards “no”.

However, other polls show different results. ProRata’s research shows 54% of Greeks would not vote in favour of the bailout package, while 33% would, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, European Parliament president Martin Schulz called for Alexis Tsipras to resign and be replaced by technocrats if Greeks decide to vote “yes” on Sunday.

Schulz told German paper Handelsblatt his faith in Syriza had reached “rock bottom” and Tsipras displayed the traits of a “demagogue”.

“New elections would be necessary if the Greek people vote for the reform programme and thus for remaining in the eurozone and Mr Tsipras, as a logical consequence, resigns,” he said.

“If this transitional government reaches a reasonable agreement with the creditors, then Syriza's time would be over. Then Greece has another chance.”

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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