Tsipras was to make an announcement Thursday night, another government official said, while he was expected to also visit the country’s president – a necessary formality in calling early elections, for which he would have to step down as prime minister. With a founding membership of 25 lawmakers, the Popular Unity party immediately becomes the third biggest force in Parliament behind the dominant Syriza and Conservative Opposition New Democracy.
GREEK Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has announced his resignation and called for snap elections, as he went on the offensive to defend the country’s massive bailout after it triggered a rebellion within his own party.
The Syriza Labour Minister, George Katrougalos, said that the government needed to “reconfirm its mandate” to implement the third Greek bailout and that the party is “crippled by a number of dissident Mps”.
The German government has urged Greece on Friday to stick to reform commitments irrespective of the snap elections called by the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Syriza is by far the most popular party, but the fractured nature of Greek politics means it does not have enough support to govern without a coalition partner.
Forty-four members of the governing coalition voted against cuts put forward by Tspiras last Friday, all of whom sided with the left wing of his Syriza party.
The walk-out may allow Tsipras to move Syriza a little closer to the political centre and broaden his appeal among voters, which remains strong despite Greece’s near-brush with financial collapse under his premiership.
Before the emergence of the new party, the third largest grouping in parliament was the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn, which holds 17 seats.
The only remaining issue is for the new government to actually implement the bailout once it begins to function.
“I want to be honest with you”.
But Angelos Handris, 55, who manages a street kiosk near central Athens, bemoaned the election as “the last thing we need”, and sharply criticized Syriza. “But… (the agreement) was the best anyone could have achieved. We are obliged to observe this agreement, but at the same time we will do our utmost to minimize its negative consequences”. “We will either finish off the bailouts, or the bailouts will finish off Greece and the Greek people“, said Mr Lafazanis.
The election campaign is expected to delay the implementation of fiscal and structural reforms agreed with creditors, since the interim government will lack a mandate to take political decisions.