A day after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras began reshuffling his Cabinet to rid his government of leftists who oppose further austerity, former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis condemned the country’s economic reform program.

Varoufakis, who resigned from the Cabinet on July 6, the day after Greeks voted against a tough package of austerity measures in exchange for financial assistance, predicted that the measures will “go down in history as the greatest disaster of macroeconomic management ever.”

BBC News reports:

In a damning assessment, Mr Varoufakis told the BBC’s Mark Lobel: “This programme is going to fail whoever undertakes its implementation.”

Asked how long that would take, he replied: “It has failed already.”

Mr Varoufakis resigned earlier this month, in what was widely seen as a conciliatory gesture towards the eurozone finance ministers with whom he had clashed frequently.

He said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who has admitted that he does not believe in the bailout, had little option but to sign.

“We were given a choice between being executed and capitulating. And he decided that capitulation was the optimal strategy.”

Mr Tsipras has announced a cabinet reshuffle, sacking several ministers who voted against the reforms in parliament this week.

But he opted not to bring in technocrats or opposition politicians as replacements.

As a result, our correspondent says, Mr Tsipras will preside over ministers who, like himself, harbour serious doubts about the reform programme.

Greece must pass further reforms on Wednesday next week to secure the bailout.

On Saturday, the Greek government ordered banks to open on Monday following three weeks of closures.

But the decree stated that the weekly withdrawal limit should be a maximum €420.

Separately, the European Council approved the €7bn bridging loan for Greece from an EU-wide emergency fund. The loan was approved in principle by eurozone ministers on Thursday and now has the go-ahead from all non-euro states.

It means Greece will now be able to repay debts to two of its creditors, the ECB and International Monetary Fund (IMF), due on Monday.

Read the rest here.

–Posted by Roisin Davis

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