I call for a strong mandate for a stable government, Tsipras declared, noting that the approved bailout program includes measures to reduce the burden of the recession that will be brought on by the anticipated austerity plan. Elections will be held within a month, with government officials saying September 20 would be the likeliest date.
Tsipras had been expected to call snap polls at some point in the autumn after his bruising seven months in office when Greece almost crashed out of the euro zone and shut its banks for three weeks during a standoff with its euro zone and International Monetary Fund creditors.
Alexis Tsipras asks for the people’s conscience vote. Greece received the first installment of the latest bailout – 26 billion euros ($29.1 billion) – on Thursday.
Greece has a new political force following a decision taken by 25 anti-bailout rebels to break away from Syriza and form a new party.
Next in line to have a go at forming a new government would be the Unity Party, however analysts say an election is a near certainty.
Mr Meimarakis, however, has said he will try and use his mandate to form a government in the next few days.
In case the parties fail to form a government or decide not to use their right, a caretaker prime minister will be appointed to serve until the elections.
Earlier on Thursday, Tsipras announced his resignation after the mounting dissent within the main ruling party over the new bailout agreed with the country’s worldwide creditors.
The deal, however, came with strict terms for more spending cuts and tax increases. Tsipras has insisted that although he disagrees with the bailout conditions, he had no choice but to accept and implement them. He was forced to move quickly after almost a third of Syriza members refused to back the programme in parliament last week, robbing him of his majority.
“No… this was really an expected step and for many people a desired step to get to a clearer structure in the Greek government”, he said.
It said the election was necessary in order to be able to properly implement the new bailout agreement.
Speculation of snap elections has been growing for some time, and the political uncertainty has had a detrimental impact on the Greek Stock Exchange.
“Now that the hard cycle has reached its end …”