Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Varoufakis' resignation as Foreign Finance Minister

The German press didn't waste any time in trying to frame the new Greek Finance Minister in terms convenient for Angela Merkel: Marxist Tsakalotos wird neuer Finanzminister The headline at the website is, ("Marxist Tsakalotos becomes the new Finance Minister"). Good grief. (The title has been changed as of 7:40 PST today. Maybe they had the decency to be embarrassed about the old one. The link title is still griechenland-marxist-tsakalotos-wird-neuer-finanzminister)

And that's is from Munich's Süddeutsche Zeiting, considered one of the "quality" newspapers, not a tabloid.

Early indications are that his replacement, Euclid Tsakalotos, does not signal a change in policy. If anything, Tsakalotos may be more hardline, if less flamboyant. Maybe the Eurogroup in wishing for a replacement for Varoufakis should have paid attention to Paul Kelly: "Be careful what you pray for/You just might get it."

The new Greek Finance Minister is starting his already very intense role following his predecessor Varoufakis in substance (Lefteris Karagiannopoulos, New Greek finance minister is a change of style, not substance Reuters 07/07/2015:

Euclid Tsakalotos, the mild-tempered professor who was appointed as Greece's new finance minister on Monday, is a clear change in style from his combative predecessor Yanis Varoufakis. ...

But if European officials expect Athens' new finance chief, who has already been a key negotiator in drawn-out meetings between the Greek government and creditors, to take a softer approach in the substance of new talks, they can think again.

As the brainchild of Syriza's economic thinking, Tsakalotos is likely to redouble efforts to put one of the most contentious issues in the five months of financial aid negotiations between Greece and its creditors -- debt relief -- back on the table.
More articles on Varoufakis' exit:

Till Schwarze 06.07.2015 17:04 in Tsipras will am Dienstag neue Vorschläge vorlegen Die Zeit:

Der britische Guardian beschreibt den Oxford-Absolventen als beharrlich und methodisch vorgehenden Ökonom mit dem Blick fürs Detail. "Das genaue Gegenteil von Varoufakis." Zugleich gilt Tsakalotos aber auch als Marxist, der noch radikalere Positionen vertritt.

[The British Guardian describes the Oxford graduate as patient economist who proceeds methodically with an eye for detail. "The exact opposite of Varoufakis." {my re-translation from the German} At the same time, Tsakalotos is also considered a Marxist who defends even more radical positions.]

Simon Goodley, 'The Greek bloke’s resigned. He’s run rings round ‘em' Guardian 07/06/2015

Mehreen Khan, Meet Euclid Tsakalotos, the man who has replaced Yanis Varoufakis as Greece's new finance minister Telegraph 06.07.2015

Thomas Kirchner, Neuer Finanzminister Tsakalotos: Das Gehirn hinter Syrizas Wirtschaftspolitik Süddeutsche Zeiting 06.Juli.2015

Helena Smith looks at Yanis Varoufakis: why bold, brash Greek finance minister had to go Guardian 07/06/2015: "Ever the maverick, Varoufakis is unlikely to vanish overnight. Although never a member of the ruling Syriza party, he remains an MP and, very possibly, will continue to influence Tsipras behind the scenes. There are few who doubt he will also be working on an unexpurgated version of the euro crisis, Varoufakis style."

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