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Jan 27, 2015 5:38 AM

Greek bailout critic says he will be new finance minister

The Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece (AP) A Greek economist and outspoken bailout critic wrote in a blog post Tuesday that he will be sworn in as finance minister under the country's new left-wing government.

The 53-year-old Yanis Varoufakis made the announcement Tuesday, hours before the new government announced its Cabinet that will be headed by the Syriza party and also likely to include officials from its coalition ally, the anti-bailout and right wing Independent Greeks.

State TV also reported that Varoufakis' Cabinet position had been finalized, adding that the ministry was likely to be expanded to include the portfolios of tourism, marine affairs and development.

Varoufakis has been a vocal critic of Greece's bailout agreements, arguing that repayment of the country's huge rescue package loans should be linked to growth, a policy change he argues would benefit eurozone lenders.

Syriza won a landmark general election victory Sunday after campaign on a pledge to renegotiate the bailout deal and seek forgiveness of more than half the money.

Writing on his private blog, Varoufakis said he would continue to post his views as minister.

"Naturally, my blog posts will become more infrequent and shorter. But I do hope they compensate with juicier views, comments and insights," he wrote.

Three other ministries are also due to be expanded: Environment will now include energy and agriculture; Education will add culture and sport; and Interior will bring in public order and civil service reform under its umbrella.


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