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Varoufakis quits to smooth talks

12:11pm BST - 02:10

Greece's outspoken finance minister resigns, removing a major obstacle to any deal to keep Athens in the euro zone after Greeks voted resoundingly to back the government in rejecting the austerity terms of a bailout. Sonia Legg reports

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He rode into Greek politics calling himself an erratic-Marxist and promising to do things differently. And Yanis Varoufakis has certainly done that. But at a cost. The academic turned Finance Minister has decided to jump. He accepts he's rubbed his European colleagues up the wrong way and hopes a new minister will give Athens more chance to reach a deal with creditors. George Katrougalous is Greek Minister for Administrative reforms. (SOUNDBITE)(English) GEORGE KATROUGALOUS, GREEK MINISTER FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMS, SAYING: "What I imagine has happened is that Yanis wants to facilitate the effort of the Prime Minister to give a new boost to the negotiations. Our Prime Minister wants to go there with a Greece united. Yanis has done an excellent job, a great job." If you call helping to secure a No vote in Sunday's referendum on austerity a positive step then maybe he has done a good job. But will his departure help secure a new agreement? Mike Ingram is a market analyst at BGC Partners. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MIKE INGRAM, MARKET ANALYST, BGC PARTNERS, SAYING: "It might make the tone between Greece and its creditors a little less vociferous than it has been over recent months but at the end of the day the Greek government has a mandate from the people in order to pursue a radically different solution for Greece." Many Greeks mourn his demise but not all. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT SAVVAS KONSTANTINIDIS, 62, SAYING: "I don't agree with Mr Varoufakis' resignation. He was the best thing for Greece. Europe, must get the message - Greece has had enough of austerity." (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT NIKOS, SAYING: "The finance minister would have been sacked, either way. They are all acting. Nobody cares about the Greek people. Tsipras is deceiving the people. His 'No' has sunk Greece, it's finished." Euclid Tsakalotos the chief negotiator in recent aid talks - is the frontrunner to replace Varoufakis. With banks closed and cash machines running out of money whoever it is will need to be on a fast learning curve. He may also ultimately have to deal with a new currency - some now put the chances of a Greek exit from the euro at 80 percent.

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Varoufakis quits to smooth talks

12:11pm BST - 02:10