Greek PM formally resigns, requesting snap general elections

He explained that he decided to resign to allow citizens to give their verdict again on the third bailout his government reached with international creditors to keep Greece afloat and in the euro zone.
Athens (ANTARA News/Xinhua-OANA) - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras formally tendered his governments resignation to the President of the Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Thursday evening, requesting the conduction of snap general elections.

The Leftist leader visited the head of state shortly after announcing his decision to step down in a televised address to the Greek people.

"The popular mandate I received on January 25th has run its course. Now the sovereign people of Greece must weigh in," the Leftist leader said in his address.

He explained that he decided to resign to allow citizens to give their verdict again on the third bailout his government reached with international creditors to keep Greece afloat and in the euro zone.

The Greek leader acknowledged that his government did not achieve the deal it wanted when it took power, and made concessions after meeting resistance by lenders, but defended the new program as the best possible opportunity to move forward.

No preferred date for the conduction of the early elections was mentioned during the address or the dialogue with the President in front of cameras.

According to government sources Tsipras will suggest September 20.

However, in a first reaction to the developments the leader of the main opposition conservative New Democracy party Vangelis Meimarakis said during an emergency press briefing that his party will make the utmost effort to avoid the polls for the benefit of Greek people.

Meimarakis accused Tsipras of seeking elections to tackle the rebellion to the bailout within his Radical Left SYRIZA party.

In the vote in parliament last Friday to ratify the deal more than 40 SYRIZA MPs in the 149-member strong parliamentary party group voted against party line.(*)

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