Tsipras to step down, snap elections loom

2015-08-20 17:53
Alexis Tsipras. (Petros Giannakouris, AP)

Alexis Tsipras. (Petros Giannakouris, AP)

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Athens - New elections are to take place in Greece in September, government sources told dpa on Thursday, adding that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras would step down to make way for the new polls.

His resignation could come as early as Thursday evening, according to Greece's state television broadcaster ERT1.

Sources named two possible dates for the election, either September 13 or 20.

Tsipras will now pursue two aims, as reported in the Greek press - firstly to tackle the rebellious left wing of the Syriza party and secondly to secure a new mandate ahead of the onset of new hardline austerity measures, which were still being hotly debated in Athens on Thursday.

Tsipras failed to garner a majority vote among his government in a vote last Friday on further cuts in the debt-stricken country. Forty-four members of the governing coalition voted against the measures, all of whom side with Syriza's left wing.

Speaking on behalf of the no-votes, Panagiotis Lafazanis urged Athens not to repay Greece's debt and to reintroduce the drachma currency.

The proposed cuts were passed thanks to support from opposition parties.

If Tsipras steps down, an interim government will be put in place led by a high court judge until the elections take place.

Read more on:    alexis tsipras  |  greece

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