Rebels angered by Greece’s worldwide bailout walked out of the leftist Syriza party on Friday, formalising a widely-expected split after leader Alexis Tsipras resigned as prime minister to pave the way for early elections.
New elections are to take place in Greece in September, government sources told dpa on Thursday, adding that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras would step down to make way for the new polls.
Tsipras, according to BBC, said he would seek the vote of the Greek people to continue his government’s programme.
Thursday’s deliberations in Athens came hours after Greece received its first aid payment for a year from its creditor: A disbursement of €13 billion from the eurozone bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism.
Although Greek MPs voted overall to approve the deal, more than 40 Syriza hardliners failed to toe the party line, angry at the terms of the deal that they say is a betrayal of the party’s ideals.
Weisbrot said the economic impact of leaving the euro (a so-called “Grexit”) would be less severe than the continuing depression that will result from a new bailout arrangement Tsipras’ government has negotiated with the European authorities.
Complicating matters, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis published a detailed blog post on Monday in which he trashed the recent bailout agreement, calling it a “humiliating capitulation” that will push Greece deeper into recession, the Greek Herald reports.
Hugely popular among his supporters for trying to stand up to foreign creditors and with the opposition in disarray, Tsipras is widely expected to return to power.
ERT state television said the timing of snap elections would be announced later on Thursday. New elections are likely to be held on Sept 20, so the country faces at least a month of acute uncertainty.
The political shake up in Greece hasn’t gone unnoticed by the European countries who just this week agreed to a new bailout for the country.
Meimarakis assured that he will hold conversations with all opposition parties, perhaps even including Golden Dawn and the junior coalition partner of Tsipras – Independent Greeks.