When the Greek parliament voted on the bailout deal, a quarter of Tsipras’ lawmakers voted against him or abstained, leaving his coalition government relying on opposition party support to pass legislation.
His announcement on Thursday came on the day his country received a first tranche in fresh bailout money and shortly after the German and several other eurozone parliaments approved the €86 billion ($US95.95 billion) aid package.
Constantopoulou, whose father was a former head of Syriza’s precursor party Synaspismos, vehemently opposed the third EU bailout Tsipras signed on July 13 and repeatedly sought to frustrate its ratification through stalling tactics.
Addressing the nation, the 41-year-old premier said he had worked hard to secure the best possible rescue package for his country, but now needed a clear new mandate from the Greek people after it cost him his parliamentary majority.
In accordance with the constitution, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos formally invited conservative leader Evangelos Meimarakis on Friday morning to try to form a new government without the need for a new elections.
The third largest party is now the new movement formed by the 25 lawmakers who split from Syriza Friday.
A breakaway eurosceptic faction of Greece’s Syriza party was to attempt to form a government Monday as the country headed for a likely September 20 snap ballot.
The government has accused parliamentary speaker Zoe Constantopoulou of “behaving like a dictator” after she branded the early election procedure “undemocratic and unconstitutional”.
Greece’s creditors are expected to welcome Tsipras’ bid to bolster his hand, with Marcel Fratzscher, an advisor to Germany’s economics minister, describing his resignation as “good economic news for Greece and for Europe”.
As Greek Prime Minister steps down, Greeks awaits a new elections and experts say Syriza must enter a coalition to win.
“If there were to be a delay when reviewing the program due to the snap elections, then this would mean that the next payment would also be delayed”, said finance ministry spokesman Juerg Weissgerber.
However, his New Democracy Party has just 76 members of parliament and is nearly certain to fail to find enough partners among an opposition that ranges from the KKE communists to the ultra-right Golden Dawn party.
Tsipras was forced to accept the creditors’ demands including further pension cuts, more value-added tax increases and a “solidarity” tax on incomes – the very kind of policies he had promised to scrap when he was elected in January.
“The Commission respects the decision of Prime Minister Tsipras to go to the polls swiftly”, Breidthardt said. “And major reforms seem unlikely to be passed in the period running up to the election“.
“For us this was not a surprise following the repeated phone calls between President Juncker and Prime Minister Tsipras and President [Prokopis] Pavlopoulos – we expected it”, she said.
Greece’s European creditors did not appear dismayed by Tsipras’ move, which was widely expected.
“The programme was agreed with the Greek government, and that runs on for three years“.
“Of course, the German government and Greece’s other European partners expect the implementation of reform, the implementation of agreements as laid out in the [bailout] program”, said Steffen Seibert, Ms. Merkel’s spokesman.
Berlin insisted it expects Athens to implement the reforms agreed under the bailout deal, saying Tsipras’s resignation has not changed anything.