The resignation feels odd, considering he was firmly planted in the referendum’s “No” camp. But in a blog post on his website, Varoufakis makes it clear that he was pushed out:
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; 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.
Varoufakis’ exit could prove beneficial to the people of Greece. Despite the fact that 61 percent of voters rejected the conditions proposed by the European Central Bank, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and other lenders, U.S. News & World Report says that most Greeks don’t want to leave the euro.
The new finance minister will need to be less of a firebrand and more of a politician, like prime minister Alexis Tsipras. Euclid Tsakalotos is a frontrunner, according to The Guardian.
Whoever he or she ends up being, Varoufakis’ successor will need to understand the intricacies of bank recapitalizations, the relationship between the finance ministry and the Greek central bank, and the pros and cons of bank nationalization—especially as Greece’s banks remain closed for at least a few more days, Reuters reports, edging the Mediterranean nation closer and closer to insolvency.
Greece won’t leave the euro as willingly as Varoufakis left the finance ministry. It’s going to have to be pushed. Hard.
• Greece votes “No” on referendum, and possibly the eurozone as well