Prime Minister Tsipras Resigns, Greece Gets A Do-Over Election

Prime Minister Tsipras Resigns, Greece Gets A Do-Over Election

Socialism is going to have another vote in Greece.

After being forced by reality to accept even more stringent austerity measures than those he had previously told Greeks to reject, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned today.

Former Greek Prime minister Alexis Tsipras (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)
Former Greek Prime minister Alexis Tsipras (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)

Faced with a near collapse of the Greek financial system which threatened the country’s future in the euro, Tsipras was forced to accept the creditors’ demands for yet more austerity and economic reform – the very policies he had promised to scrap when he was elected in January.

“I want to be honest with you. We did not achieve the agreement we expected before the January elections,” he told the Greek people.

“I feel the deep ethical and political responsibility to put to your judgment all I have done, successes and failures.”

The catch is, Tsipras may be resigning…. but he also MIGHT get re-elected. Elections are scheduled to be held on September 20th, and the short period of time may be designed for Greeks to show their support for him, the new austerity package, and his Syriza party – or go even harder left.

Politically, the most organized opposition within Syriza comes from Left Platform, a radical faction accounting for about a quarter of the party’s members of Parliament. The leader is the former energy minister, Panagiotis Lafazanis, who argues that Syriza was not elected to impose further austerity and is calling for Greece to abandon the euro and return to its old currency, the drachma.

Several other Syriza lawmakers, including the Parliament speaker, Zoe Konstantopoulou, also object to the terms of the new bailout, which include strict spending limits, new tax increases and raise the retirement age, while also opening various parts of the Greek economy to greater competition.

Mr. Tsipras is betting that Greek voters, weary of instability, will support him in a new vote and enable him to form a new government absent hard-line leftist dissenters. Despite his reversal on the bailout plan, Mr. Tsipras has remained highly popular, with the most recent polls in late July showing no other leader in a strong position to challenge him at this stage.

So, now we will get to see in a month if the Greek people have learned any lessons, or if they really want to become the third-world of Europe.

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1 Comment
  • Appalled By The World says:

    If nothing else it is refreshing to see a head of state admit his failures and take the heat. I can’t see the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave EVER doing that. For that alone this guy deserves to be re-elected.

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