21 August 2015
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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced he will step down with an eye to snap elections, a move the embattled leader will likely use to shut out dissenters and return to power with a more manageable coalition. “Now the Greek people need to have their say,” Tsipras said. “With your vote you will show who can lead Greece on the difficult but promising road ahead of us, and how. With your vote you will judge us all.” After his televised speech, Tsipras emerged from his Athens office onto the sidewalk at about 8:50 p.m. local time on Thursday and walked next door to hand his resignation to Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, asking him to set in motion procedures for a swift return to the ballots.
A government official earlier said a vote could be held as soon as Sept. 20. Though his eight months at the helm of Europe’s most indebted country were beset by turmoil and brought the economy to the brink of ruin, Tsipras used the broadcast to list his achievements, from clinching a new aid package to securing a commitment from euro-area partners to consider debt relief. By Marcus Bensasson, Jonathan Stearns and Paul Tugwell (Bloomberg).