Tsipras re­signs, paving way for snap elec­tions

Polls loom amid dis­sent in SYRIZA

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras re­signed yesterday, herald­ing snap elec­tions, most prob­a­bly for Septem­ber, in an at­tempt to con­sol­i­date his hold on power amid a mount­ing re­bel­lion within SYRIZA against a new bailout signed with the coun­try’s cred­i­tors.

Tsipras an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion in a tele­vised ad­dress to the na­tion be­fore vis­it­ing Pres­i­dent Prokopis Pavlopou­los and ask­ing for the ear­li­est pos­si­ble elec­tion date. Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials said Tsipras would pro­pose that the vote take place on Septem­ber 20 though it might be later if lead­ers of other po­lit­i­cal par­ties ex­ploit their right to try and form a gov­ern­ment as some in­di­cated last night.

“The man­date we re­ceived on Jan­uary 25 has ex­pired,” Tsipras said. “In a while I will visit the pres­i­dent and hand in my res­ig­na­tion and that of the gov­ern­ment. Now it will be up to the peo­ple to de­cide,” he said.

In his speech, Tsipras sought to de­fend his gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts to reach a deal with cred­i­tors but con­ceded that he failed to do so. “I want to be com­pletely hon­est, we didn’t achieve the agree­ment we wanted,” he said.

But he in­di­cated that he had tried his best and sug­gested that bet­ter days would come and that a new 86-bil­lion-euro deal with cred­i­tors could pave the way for Greece to re­turn to nor­mal­ity. “I feel the deep moral and po­lit­i­cal obli­ga­tion to sub­mit to your judg­ment,” he said. “You, your vote, will de­ter­mine if we rep­re­sented you with courage in the talks with the cred­i­tors, if this agree­ment is enough for us to emerge from the cri­sis.”

In a clear dig at rebels within the SYRIZA party, Tsipras spoke of “those who trans­formed the ma­jor­ity that the peo­ple gave us into a par­lia­men­tary mi­nor­ity.”

The ini­tial re­ac­tions from the camp of Greece’s cred­i­tors ap­peared diplo­matic, even up­beat. “

Swift elec­tions in Greece can be a way to broaden sup­port for [Euro­pean Sta­bil­ity Mech­a­nism] sta­bil­ity sup­port pro­gram just signed by PM Tsipras on be­half of Greece,” Martin Sel­mayr, a spokesman for Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Juncker, wrote on Twit­ter.

Eurogroup Pres­i­dent Jeroen Di- js­sel­bloem said he hoped Tsipras’s res­ig­na­tion and the new elec­tions would not de­rail the latest deal. “It is cru­cial that Greece main­tains its com­mit­ments to the eu­ro­zone,” Di­js­sel­bloem said in a state­ment e-mailed to Reuters. “I re­call the broad sup­port in the Greek Par­lia­ment for the new pro­gram and re­form pack­age and I hope the elec­tions will lead to even more sup­port in the new Greek Par­lia- ment," the state­ment said.

Fol­low­ing Tsipras’s res­ig­na­tion last night, Greece’s Con­sti­tu­tion grants the lead­ers of the largest three par­ties up to three days each to try and form a gov­ern­ment. If they fail to do so or to de­cide not to ex­ploit that right, then a care­taker prime min­is­ter will be ap­pointed to serve un­til the elec­tions. This will be the head of the Supreme Court, Vas­si­liki Thanou-Christofilou.

Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras walks with his ad­vis­ers to­ward the Pres­i­den­tial Man­sion, where he sub­mit­ted his res­ig­na­tion last night to Pres­i­dent Prokopis Pavlopou­los. Tsipras was elected on Jan­uary 25.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.