Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:42AM
Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s former finance minister ©AP
Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s former finance minister ©AP

Greece’s former finance minister has lashed out at the country’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for “surrendering” to international creditors’ demands for tough austerity measures to secure a third aid package.

In an interview with the New Review published on Saturday, Yanis Varoufakis censured Tsipras for going back on his anti-austerity promises and accepting the tough conditions set by the so-called troika of international lenders - the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund – to keep the cash-strapped country afloat.

Varoufakis also accused Tsipras of reneging on his electoral promises, saying the ruling Syriza party is now witnessing a deepening rift due to the premier’s decision to disregard the votes of the people, who overwhelmingly expressed their opposition to the tough austerity measures under the new bailout program in a July 5 referendum.

Supporters of the No vote celebrate after the results of the referendum in the Greek capital city of Athens, July 5, 2015. ©AP

“This mutation [in Syriza’s anti-austerity policies], I have already witnessed. Those in our party/government who underwent it, then turned against those who refused to mutate, the result being a split in the party that our people, the courageous voters who voted ‘No', did not deserve,” the former minister noted.

He tried to justify his surprise resignation only a day after the referendum, in which the nation responded positively to the premier’s call for a ‘No’ vote, saying he had learned of Tsipras’ intention to approve of the bailout deal regardless of the nation’s dissatisfaction.

Varoufakis made the comments a day after over two dozen hardliners pulled out of Syriza in an attempt to form a new party in the parliament ahead of the snap polls slated for next month.

“In line with our electoral pledges, we are departing from the parliamentary group we formerly belonged to and are forming a new independent parliamentary group,” read the statement issued by the disgruntled far-leftist politicians.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras ©AFP

On Thursday, Tsipras announced his resignation and proposed snap elections in the debt-ridden country on September 20.

Earlier in the month, Greek lawmakers, many of them from the opposition parties, approved an 85-billion-euro rescue package, the third of its kind, in an attempt to prevent the country from defaulting on its huge debts.

The decision to renew the bailout program garnered harsh criticism within the ruling party, and dozens of Syriza MPs voted against the deal.

Greece received two bailouts in 2010 and 2012 worth a total of EUR 240 billion (USD 272 billion) from its international lenders following economic crisis in 2009.