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Greek Finance Minister resigns

Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has stepped down a day after Greeks delivered a resounding "No" to the conditions of a rescue package for the debt-ridden countryVaroufakis announced his resignation on Twitter Monday, saying he was told that some members of the eurozone considered him unwelcome at meetings of finance ministers. “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,” Varoufakis said.

He said that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had judged that Varoufakis' absence in the finance ministers' meetings might be helpful in “reaching an agreement.” It was “an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason, I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today,” he said. He warned that the referendum result, which saw 61.31 percent of the Greeks oppose an austerity package by the country’s international lenders, “comes with a large price tag attached... like all struggles for democratic rights.” “The great capital bestowed upon our government” must be “invested immediately into a YES to a proper resolution,” Varoufakis said, calling for a deal that includes “debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favor 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 said.

Greeks had to choose whether to accept another tough austerity package proposed by the country’s international lenders – the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – in return for fresh bailout loans. Athens received two bailout packages in 2010 and 2012 worth a total of €240 billion ($272 billion) from its creditors following its 2009 economic crisis. In return for the bailouts, Athens committed to implementing harsh austerity measures, which sparked public outcry.

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