The former Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis claimed that he threatened Greece’s European creditors with a departure from the Eurozone, with the agreement of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Mr. Varoufakis made the statement in an interview he gave to the Athens Live website, where he revealed that the Prime Minister would then use the threat of a Greek departure from the Eurozone in his negotiations at the Eurogroup meetings.

According to the former Finance Minister thought “there wasn’t a chance to exit the euro. It was all bark and no bite, non-credible threats”. When asked about the effect of a ‘Grexit’, Mr. Varoufakis stated that it wound not be a ‘pretty sight’ but added that he was not afraid of such a development.

During the interview Mr. Varoufakis claimed that ECB chief Mario Draghi “begged” him to not “talk again of the bonds and the S&P program, you’re making my life impossible with that kind of talk”. Although Mr. Varoufakis agreed to do so, in exchange for Greek banks not closing, the Government Vice President Yannis Dragasakis allegedly went a month later in Frankfurt and stated that he will veto Varoufakis.

Varoufakis refutes ‘Grexit threat’ claims

Following the publication of the interview, Mr. Varoufakis claimed that he was ‘moderate’ in his approach and that he only threatened to carry out a haircut of the Greek bonds held by European banks, should Europe close the Greek banks.