Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has announced his resignation and proposed calling snap elections in the debt-ridden country next month.
"I will shortly meet with the president of the republic and present my resignation and that of my government," Tsipras said in a televised address to the nation on Thursday.
Earlier, two government officials told the Wall Street Journal that Tspiras plans to inform Greece’s head of state, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, later on Thursday that he cannot “continue as premier due to the lack of a stable governing majority in parliament.”
Meanwhile, the ANA news agency quoted unnamed Greece officials as saying that the premier is expected to propose September 20 as the date for the snap elections.
Tsipras, elected in January, reportedly plans to call snap elections in an attempt to quell a rebellion in his leftist Syriza party just days after securing the country’s disputed third bailout, according to the state broadcaster.
Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos also said that the elections “will not be the same as those of 2012, because now there is agreement, and there is a framework for the recapitalization of banks.”
Greece’s Energy Minister Panos Skourletis further called on the government to return to the ballot box, saying, “The political landscape must clear up. We need to know whether the government has or does not have a majority.”
The Greek left-wing government has seen its support dwindle in parliament after agreeing to reforms, including pension adjustments and tax increase, required to qualify for a third bailout worth 86 billion euros (94.5 billion dollars).
Earlier this month, Greek lawmakers approved the country’s third bailout deal with its international creditors in an attempt to prevent the cash-strapped state from defaulting on its huge debts.
The Greek bailout agreement, however, garnered harsh criticism within the ruling party with 40 Syriza lawmakers refusing to back the plan.
Greece received two bailouts in 2010 and 2012 worth a total of EUR 240 billion (USD 272 billion) from its troika of international lenders - the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - following economic crisis in 2009.
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