Update as of 6:00 a.m. EDT: European officials expect “new proposals” from Greek authorities during their meeting on Tuesday, the Eurogroup said, in a statement released Monday. German officials, meanwhile, reiterated that Greece would only receive further aid from the eurozone’s rescue fund if it accepts certain conditions in return.
“It is simply not legally possible to back away from this principle,” German Finance Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger reportedly said, adding that debt relief for Greece is out of the question.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert also said that, as things stand currently, “there is no basis to enter into negotiations on a new aid program.”
Germany is currently the largest holder of Greek debt.
On Monday -- a day after Greek voters “bravely” rejected a tough new bailout deal -- the country’s finance minister announced his resignation.
In a statement released through his Twitter account, Yanis Varoufakis said that he was “made aware” that some members of the eurozone did not want him at meetings, “an idea that the Prime Minister [Alexis Tsipras] judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement.
“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,” Varoufakis, who belongs to the far-left Syriza party, said, in the statement. “For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.”
Minister No More! http://t.co/Oa6MlhTPjG
— Yanis Varoufakis (@yanisvaroufakis) July 6, 2015
The decision comes amid fears that the decision to reject further austerity measures could lead to the so-called “Grexit” -- Greece leaving the eurozone and going back to the drachma currency. However, following the referendum, Tsipras sought to dispel the notion that the “No” vote necessarily meant that Athens would leave the bloc.
“This is not a mandate of rupture with Europe, but a mandate that bolsters our negotiating strength to achieve a viable deal,” Tsipras reportedly said.
In his statement, Varoufakis said that it is “essential” to follow up the “No” vote with “a Yes to a proper resolution -- to an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour of the needy, and real reforms.
“The superhuman effort to honour the brave people of Greece, and the famous Oxi (No) that they granted to democrats the world over, is just beginning,” Varoufakis added. “And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.”