The fifth parliamentary elections in six years look like a near certainty to take place next month, with reports of September 20 being the preferred date. It would be the third time this year that Greeks vote, after January elections and a July 5 referendum on reforms proposed by creditors during bailout talks. The move leaves Greece in the hands of a caretaker government until the vote.
Tsipras was to make an announcement on Thursday night, another government official said, while he was expected to also visit the country’s president – a necessary formality in calling early elections. In exchange for a new €86bn ($95bn; £61bn) from European partners, Mr Tsipras had to agree to painful state sector cuts, including far-reaching pension reforms – and keep Greece in the eurozone.
Meanwhile, New Democracy head Evangelos Meimarakis will have a chance to form a new government following Tsipras’ surprise resignation, according to an email from the office of President Prokopis Pavlopoulos sent early Friday. “We aim for government… we want to become a great movement that will sweep the bailouts aside”, the faction’s leader Panagiotis Lafazanis, formerly the top eurosceptic in Syriza, told reporters.
“Although the Greek parliament approved the third bailout, his resignation was deemed necessary as he failed to secure a majority from within his own Syriza party”.
Tsipras’ reversal in accepting the demands by creditors led to outrage among Syriza hardliners. He only managed to pass the program through Parliament with the help of opposition parties, as hard-liners in Syriza refused to support it, setting the stage for the split and the call for an election.
Opting for a fresh election was seen as an attempt by Tsipras to face down the internal challenge by Syriza rebels and strengthen his position.
However, he said, “the downside of new elections is that they will slow the implementation of measures”.
“The country can not take more bailouts”. Tsipras has been contemplating his options after a parliament vote to approve the bailout conditions led to dozens of…
“Now that this hard cycle has ended…”
“I feel the deep ethical and political responsibility to put to your judgment all I have done, successes and failures”.
Tsipras’ resignation came on the same day the debt-crippled nation received its first tranche of bailout funds, effectively starting the rescue package, the third in five years.
His criticism of the bailout policy appears to find backing in the German public.