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Alexis Tsipras has resigned and a snap election has been called in Greece

Alexis Tsipras has announced the vote will take place in September.
Aug 20th 2015, 11:44 PM 75,621 231

GREEK PRIME MINISTER Alexis Tsipras has confirmed he will be tendering his resignation and the country will hold a snap election next month.

He made the announcement on national television this evening, stating that he has exhausted the mandate given to him in January when he took up office.

However, he also said that he was proud of his government and the long negotiations they put in over the past eight months.

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“Now that this difficult cycle has come to an end, I wish to submit to your judgement all that we have done,” Tsipras said, before meeting President Prokopis Pavlopoulous to formally hand in his resignation.

The move leaves Greece in the hands of a caretaker government until the vote.

Tsipras’s announcement came on the same day the debt-crippled country received its first €13 billion in bailout cash today.

That effectively started the mammoth rescue package agreed last month, and worth around €86 billion over the next three years.

Making his statement, Tsipras conceded that the €86 billion deal reached was not the one they wanted – but the best they could get. He also said that Greece is now obliged to honour it.

Tsipras’ acceptance of the new bailout deal angered members of his leftist Syriza party, many of whom voted against him in parliament last week.

The 41 year old will hope that today’s decision will counter that internal rebellion as an expected win would provide him with a new mandate.

The Greek PM remains popular in the country despite presiding over six months of financial and political chaos. Today, he presented himself as the middle ground for voters.

His resignation and subsequent election means he will no longer have to face a confidence motion which had been looming.

Going to the ballot boxes again

The vote will be held on 20 September. It will be the second election in Greece in eight months. The ballot will be overseen by the current president of the supreme court Vassiliki Thanou-Christophilou.

The European Commission, one of the creditor institutions overseeing the new rescue package, welcomed the news saying it would politically bolster the just launched bailout, Greece’s third in five years.

“Swift elections in Greece can be a way to broaden support for ESM stability support programme just signed by Prime Minister Tsipras on behalf of Greece,” tweeted Martin Selmayr, chief of staff to commission head Jean-Claude Juncker, referring to the EU bailout fund.

With reporting from AFP

Originally published: 18.50

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Sinead O'Carroll

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