Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ eight-month reign has come to an end this week, following a call for snap elections that look to close one of the more volatile storylines in recent Greek history.
The announcement comes as little surprise to outside observers, given Mr. Tsipras’ widely unpopular endorsement and capitulation of European bailout measures. The measures themselves, as well as additional austerity provisions, were previously voted against during a referendum last month, underscoring a decisive victory for anti-austerians in Greece.
Following the referendum however, Mr. Tsipras had reached a crescendo in his tenure, given the successful nature of his gambit in the face of what he deemed Eurozone ‘fear mongering’. Fast forward a month later and now both former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and Mr. Tsipras have both announced their resignations – the former’s departure helped pave the way for an eventual deal between Eurozone lenders and the Greek parliament that snapped months of unsuccessful back and forth negotiations.
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Having taken his country to the brink however, Mr. Tsipras did ultimately relent and help facilitate the latest tranche of aid, numbered at $96 billion strong. However, his endorsement of the bailout, namely in the aftermath of a contradictory ‘Oxi’ campaign just one month ago has fractured the political leadership in Greece, leaving his Syriza party searching for answers and ultimately new leadership.
Mr. Tsipras himself resigned yesterday evening, which will now set in a chain of motions that will see early elections, possibly as recent as September 20, 2015. The fallout could see a reorganizing of the political playing field, dredging up the specter of volatility, which had seen a temporary respite following months of brinkmanship in Greece.
According to Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch Finance Minister and key face in the months of negotiations between Eurozone lenders and Greece, in a recent statement on Mr. Tsipras’ resignation, “It is crucial that Greece maintains its commitments to the euro zone. I hope the elections will lead to even more support in the new Greek parliament.”