Greek PM Tsipras to resign on Thursday, Calls Snap Election

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will submit his resignation to the country’s president later Thursday to clear the way for early elections on Sept. 20, a government official said.

Tspiras, elected in January, is expected to make a televised state address on Thursday evening.

Tsipras effectively lost his parliamentary majority after a rebellion by hardliners in his Syriza party who oppose a bailout agreement struck with international lenders.

The BBC reports:

Mr Tsipras has faced a rebellion within his ruling hard-left Syriza party over a new bailout deal which has been agreed with international creditors.

Greece received the first €13bn ($14.5bn) tranche on Thursday, allowing it to repay a debt to the European Central Bank and avoid a messy default.

But the austerity measures needed for the deal angered many in his party.

Mr Tsipras had to agree to further painful state sector cuts, including far-reaching pension reforms, in exchange for the bailout – and keeping Greece in the eurozone.

The overall bailout package is worth about €86bn over three years. The payment of the first tranche was made on Thursday after the bailout deal – Greece’s third in five years – was approved by relevant European parliaments.

Mr Tsipras is to make a televised state address later on Thursday.

He is set to submit his resignation to the president to clear the way for the elections, the media reports said.

Energy and Environment Minister Panos Skourletis said on state TV: “The certainty is that the need for elections has arisen.”

Bloomberg adds:

The refusal of 44 Syriza party rebels to back the bailout in an Aug. 14 parliamentary vote meant Tsipras effectively lost his governing majority, Energy Minister Panagiotis Skourletis said in an ERT TV interview on Thursday. “There’s no getting around that,” he said.

The Greek government has commenced the process of selling national assets to foreign governments, including Germany, in order to meet its bailout terms.

Reuters contributed to this report


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