Yanis Varoufakis may not be involved in Eurogroup talks for much longer, as ministers try to speak directly to the Alexis Tsipras

Sarah Spickernell
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Varoufakis faces pressure from Greece's creditor nations (Source: Getty)

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is being sidelined by Eurozone officials, as they choose to speak directly to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras instead.

This weekend, talks were held in the Latvian capital Riga to discuss the struggling nation's bailout situation. But following an unsuccessful meeting on Friday, in which Varoufakis was turned on by many of the other attendees and no progress was made on a deal, the chairman of the talks telephoned Tsipras to make amends.
“All the ministers told Mr Varoufakis this cannot go on,” Spain's finance minister Luis de Guindos told the FT, in reference to his inability to provide creditor nations with acceptable reforms.
These need to be agreed upon to unlock the rest of Greece's €172bn (£123bn) bailout money and save it from going bankrupt.
One senior official said it was likely Varoufakis would be bypassed in further discussions, so that Tsipras and his deputy Yannis Ragasakis could play a more central role.
Another official said: “There is an element of cognitive dissonance here. Varoufakis does not comprehend that at the political level one just does not negotiate every item. Other people do that.”
The relationship is also reportedly worsening between the Prime Minister and finance minister within their party, with one senior Athens official saying Varoufakis had become “a drag on the Syriza administration”.
In fact, he even suggested Varoufakis would soon by dropped by the party, but not until a deal has been brokered: “The time to shed this finance minister is when the interim deal with creditors has been reached and before negotiations start on a new bailout package.”

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