Tsipras resigns, calls for early elections
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned along with his Cabinet yesterday and called for early elections.
Although the prime minister had managed to get approval for the latest bailout deal for Greece through the Hellenic parliament he faced two challenges in moving the programme forward.
Around 30 – 40 of his own party’s parliamentarians had voted against the legislation repeatedly. Although opposition parties had supported the legislation and voted with the government they also made it clear that in the event of a no-confidence motion they would vote against the government.
The prime minister also faced the problem of pushing through a legislative package for which he had no mandate. When elected in January Syriza, the prime minister’s party, had won on an anti-austerity package. In a referendum in early July the government also received support for their anti-austerity measures and the Greek people supported turning down a bailout package. The prime minister and government subsequently agreed a more severe bailout package with the Eurozone group leading to the rebellion within his own party.
Prime Minister Tsipras is now hoping that the Greek people will give him a fresh mandate in an election which is slated to take place on 20th September.
The Greek Reporter website records the prime minister as saying yesterday “It is my political and moral obligation to ask you, the Greek people, to decide how we will move from now on. You will judge, through your vote, if we fared right with creditors, you will judge if we can implement the new reforms. You will decide who will proceed with the changes and reforms the country needs.” He went on to say “I will ask the Greek people to vote for us to govern for a free, democratic socially just Greece. We will not give up our values to anyone. The best days are ahead of us. I invite you to fight with us to keep democracy and Greece in our hands.”
The decision to call a snap election was condemned by the leader of the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party.