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 Prime minister of Greece announces his resignation and paves way for general election, - The Guardian

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announces his resignation and paves way for general election, with 20 September predicted as most likely date for a poll

Censor.NET reports citing The Guardian.

As the debt-crippled country received the first tranche of a punishing new €86bn (£61bn) bailout, Tsipras said on Thursday he felt "a moral obligation to place this deal in front of the people, to allow them to judge ... both what I have achieved, and my mistakes".

The 41-year-old Greek leader is still popular with voters for having at least tried to stand up to the country's creditors and his leftwing Syriza party is likely to be returned to power in the imminent general election, which government officials told Greek media was most likely to take place on 20 September.

The prime minister insisted in an address on public television that he was proud of his time in office and had got "a good deal for the country", despite bringing it "close to the edge". He added he was "shortly going to submit my resignation, and the resignation of my government, to the president".

The prime minister will be replaced for the duration of the short campaign by the president of Greece's supreme court, Vassiliki Thanou-Christophilou - a vocal bailout opponent - as head of a caretaker government.

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Tsipras won parliamentary backing for the tough bailout programme last week by a comfortable margin but suffered a major rebellion among members of his ruling Syriza party, nearly one-third of whose 149 MPs either voted against the deal or abstained.
Syriza is now likely to split, with a formal announcement thought to be imminent. The leader of the party's dissident Left Platform, the former energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, announced last week that he intended to form a new anti-bailout movement, accusing the government of capitulating to the "dictatorship of the eurozone".

The party is now thought likely to call an extraordinary congress in September to resolve its internal differences.

Recent opinion polls have put support for Syriza at around 33-34%, making it by far the country's most popular party - but not popular enough to govern without a coalition partner. No polls have been published late July, but Syriza insiders remain optimistic.

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