In a televised address to the nation, Tsipras said he would submit his resignation to the president—a move that would trigger elections—and he said the public would decide “with your vote whether we made the right choice” on the massive bailout deal.
Shortly, I will submit my resignation, as well as the resignation of my Government, to the President of the Republic. #Greece— Alexis Tsipras (@tsipras_eu) August 20, 2015
The popular mandate I received on January 25th has run its course. Now, the sovereign people of #Greece must weigh in.— Alexis Tsipras (@tsipras_eu) August 20, 2015
Last week, Tsipras successfully navigated the controversial bailout through his country’s parliament. But he faced backlash from members of his own far-left Syriza Party who felt the package was against Greece’s interests. Nearly a third of the party’s members either voted against the deal or abstained.
The package—about $96 billion over three years—calls for tax increases, cuts to Greece’s vast public sector, and pension reforms. Greece’s creditors—the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund—had insisted on the terms without which Greece would have run out of money and faced an exit from the euro zone. But these were painful concessions for a country that has not recovered from the 2008 global recession.