After the Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis' surprise resignation Monday—despite a victory for his anti-austerity stance in the weekend's referendum—analysts are wondering whether Athens can now strike a deal with its lenders.
The combative minister announced Monday he was a "minister no more," a day after Greeks rejected creditors' reform proposals with a resounding "no" vote.
Speaking to CNBC in Athens as the news emerged, George Katrougalos, Greece's minister for administrative reform, said Varoufakis wanted to help Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras get a "fresh start" for talks on reforms.
"I think that he has done a great job and I suppose he wanted to facilitate this fresh start that the prime minister wanted to give the negotiations. We want a compromise, a fair and equitable compromise," he said.
"From the beginning, what we wanted was a fair compromise that could be accepted by both parties. … Europe knows now that the Greek people want a deal, but not the continuation of austerity," he added.
Varoufakis' departure in victory came as a surprise, given that his ruling left-wing Syriza party has managed to save itself from the ignominy of failing to persuade the Greek people to back their defiance toward the bailout and creditors.
The minister has been a thorn in the side of the country's creditors and has not had an easy relationship with his euro zone counterparts. Indeed, he was replaced as head of the negotiating team with lenders due to the increasingly acrimonious direction that talks were going.
When announcing his resignation in a blog post early Monday, Varoufakis said he was "made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted 'partners', for my … 'absence' from its meetings." He said it was "an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement.
"For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today," he added.
Euclid Tsakalatos, the man who had replaced Varoufakis as head of Greece's negotiation team with lenders, is widely reported to be his replacement. He is viewed as one of Syriza's more "moderate" figures.
As such, there are hopes among some analysts that a deal could now be struck with lenders, despite the defiant vote this weekend and five months of failed reforms-for-rescue talks.
Economist Peter Bofinger, a member of the German Council of Economic Experts, which advises German Chancellor Angela Merkel, told CNBC he hoped Germany would compromise, but thought it unlikely.
"It's almost impossible for Ms. Merkel to give Greece a second chance now. I think there's a major accident (ahead) and for me it's difficult to imagine keeping Greece in the euro now," he said.
Euro zone leaders are expected to meet on Tuesday afternoon to discuss their next move following the vote. Ahead of that meeting, the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers are due to meet at noon London time. Meanwhile on Monday the European Central Bank will decide whether it should extend more emergency funding to Greek banks.
Demetrios Efstathiou, head of CEEMEA Strategy at ICBC Standard Bank, said Varoufakis was "toxic," and the strategist hoped a deal with lenders could still be found.
"Following the resignation of Varoufakis, Tsakalotos is said to be his replacement. Varoufakis had become toxic and had to go. Tsakalotos has been a key part of the negotiating team. He is one of the most sensible/moderate figures in Syriza and his appointment (if confirmed) increases the chances for a sensible negotiation, and a positive outcome."
Other analysts were not so sure that Varoufakis' departure would herald a new era of cordial and cooperative relations with Greece's euro zone partners, who have become jaded with Greece's defiant attitude toward reforms and spending cuts, despite its reliance on them for financial aid.
There was some cool reaction to the news in Europe, however, with one market commentator believing it to be part of a game plan already agreed with Europe.
Paul Gambles, co-founder of MBMG Group, told CNBC that while Varoufakis' departure could be a "short-term positive, Varoufakis' going is the 'quid,' so what's the 'quo' in return for that?"
"You've got to assume that it's some kind of coordinated arrangement between the Greek government and the creditors so I think from that point of view people will see it as a positive."
"But the problem is that any cobbled-together solution is not going to be a solution. So it may well lead to more kicking the can down the road," he told Europe's "Squawk Box" on Monday.
"The one thing that is certain and there's a 100 percent chance is that Greece will leave the euro. Will it happen this year, next year or the year after? Will it happen when the whole euro zone project implodes? Those are the questions, but I think that the euro project is toast but it's toast that may be burning very slowly," Gambles said.