ATHENS – Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is not planning to quit, government officials denying a report in the German newspaper Bild.
“None of this is true, it’s far from reality,” one of the officials told Reuters.
Bild’s online version on March 27 cited a Greek government source as saying Varoufakis would soon be pushed out after he has provoked Eurozone officials with his combative style as Greece is locked in negotiations for more aid.
After being the visible point man in the talks, and irritating key figures such as German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, Varoufakis has largely faded from sight in recent days.
A celebrity photo shoot with his wife for Paris Match magazine angered officials from the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Varoufakis had taken a low profile since then, with fewer interviews and TV appearances.
He also cancelled an appearance at a London conference last week and was notably absent when Tsipras traveled to Brussels and then Berlin for crucial talks on Greece’s efforts to secure financial aid to keep afloat.
The French magazine spread irked many in SYRIZA as it portrayed him with a lavish lifestyle in a luxury home with a rooftop terrace under the Acropolis as he and his wife dined in a banquet of fish and other foods.
Varoufakis, 53, was known as a blogger and Marxist theorist and had never held a government official until being picked by Tsipras to be the public face of Greece’s ongoing struggle to right its economy and deal with the troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB).
He has also failed to present a credible list of reforms demanded by the lenders since Greece on Feb. 20 accepted a four-month bailout extension, presenting only two vague outlines in what he called his practice of “constructive ambiguity.” He is known as a game theory expert.
Source: The National Herald