Greek Premier resigns, calls snap elections
BRUSSELS — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned on Thursday, calling snap elections in his economically embattled nation in a bid to combat dissent within his own party.
The decision injected fresh uncertainty into Greece's turbulent economics. The nation last month narrowly escaped being cast out of the euro currency zone and instead took on a new round of austerity in exchange for its third bailout in five years.
Tsipras aims to win a renewed mandate for his firebrand populism, but he has faced a rebellion inside his own Syriza political party.
The scrappy collection of Marxist economics professors, activists and other leftist politicians has been split after Tsipras agreed to the new bailout last month after weeks of turmoil, shuttered banks and an economy that started to run out of cash. Some dissenters in the party say Greece should have risked going it alone andpossibly leaving the euro altogether.
Syriza remains atop public opinion polls, and the decision to call snap elections was not entirely unexpected. Tsipras is bidding to solidify his standing and perhaps take the reins of a new governing coalition.
But in the tumultuous world of Greek politics, much could change before the election takes place.
"I am proud of our time in office," Tsipras said in an address from outside his offices that was broadcast live to the nation. "Europe is not the same since we took power in January."
In his half-hour speech, Tsipras said the bailout had saved the nation from economic collapse and that he now had a "moral obligation" to give Greeks a chance to accept or reject his decision. He called for fresh backing from a Greek nation where he remains tremendously popular.