Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras resigns

Greece's prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, handed in his resignation to the Greek president on Thursday (August 20) while the main opposition party leader said he would contact leaders of other parties to try to form a government.
Tsipras asked Greek president, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, to move swiftly and set a date for elections as soon as possible.
"I would like to submit the government's resignation, and I would like to express my belief that the constitutional processes need to be set in motion immediately so that we can go as soon as possible, and with all due civility, to elections so that the Greek people can decide in what way the country should be shepherded safely and quickly out of the crisis," said Tsipras.
Pavlopoulos assured Tsipras that he would make sure all agreements signed by the government were honored.
"I will do my duties in such a way so as to not jeopardize in the least the responsibilities that we have undertaken, under the agreement that we have signed and that began to be implemented yesterday. We will fulfill our commitments in full. Also, we will not endanger the safe journey of the country within the European Union and the euro zone," said Pavlopoulos.
Under the constitution Pavlopoulos is due to give main opposition New Democracy party leader, Evangelos Meimarakis, the opportunity to form a government before new elections are held, though it is seen as unlikely that New Democracy will succeed given the arithmetic of the current parliament
However, its leader Vangelis Meimarakis told a news conference: "I consider it my political obligation and responsibility to exhaust all the options in case the current parliament can give a solution, and so that we have an idea of what can be done after the next elections."
Tsipras remains popular among his supporters for trying to stand up to the foreign creditors and with the opposition in disarray, he is widely expected to return to power.
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