“The political mandate of the January 25 elections has exhausted its limits and now the Greek people have to have their say”, Tsipras said in a televised address Thursday night.
“Under the rule of the caretaker government, which will lead Greece until the polling date, the implementation of the reforms approved by the Greek parliament will almost inevitably be delayed”.
A group of Greek lawmakers opposed to the country’s bailout programme abandoned the governing party, Syriza, as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras moved to force an early election to shore up his position. His decision to step down paved the way for a snap general election.
President Prokopis Pavlopoulos met conservative New Democracy party head Evangelos Meimarakis on Friday and asked him to try to form a government.
If Popular Unity takes 25 MPs into the election it would become the third largest behind Syriza and New Democracy, ahead of the far-right Golden Dawn (Stuttgart: 3G8A.SG – news).
Why Euro is less bothered on Greek development now, while little more than a month back turmoil in the country was creating havoc for the common currency?
Mr Tsipras has faced a rebellion within his ruling hard-left Syriza party over a new bailout deal which has been agreed with worldwide creditors.
Reacting to the reports, Martin Selmayr, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s chief-of-staff, tweeted that “swift elections in Greece can be a way to broaden support” for the bailout deal. Tsipras was able to pass the measure with support from pro-bailout legislators from other parties. Although Tsipras is widely tipped to win the vote, if he fails to secure an outright majority he would have to seek a complex coalition that could hamper his ability to govern.
“I feel the deep ethical and political responsibility to put to your judgment all I have done – successes and failures”, he said.
The government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has accused parliamentary speaker Zoe Constantopoulou of “behaving like a dictator” after she branded the early election procedure “undemocratic and unconstitutional”.
“But the one thing that we can continue to look for in Greece is that anti-austerity movement coming from the streets and communities”, he said.
Meimarakis has three days to find coalition partners, and then the third largest party would get the mandate.
Under his leadership, he had to close the banks for three weeks as panicking savers pulled billions from their accounts, and strict curbs on withdrawals from the banking system remain, badly hurting business.