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Tsipras proposes snap Greek vote for September 20: agency


Alexis_Tsipras_2013Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has proposed calling an early election in the crisis-hit country on September 20, the ANA news agency said on Thursday, citing government sources.

The hard-left leader is expected to make the announcement in an address to the nation before going to see President Prokopis Pavlopoulos to submit his government’s resignation, the agency said.

Tsipras has been under mounting pressure to call early elections because of rifts in his own Syriza party over a massive new bailout deal with Greece’s international creditors.

Greece repaid a 3.4 billion euro ($3.8 billion) debt to the European Central Bank on Thursday, effectively starting its third loans-for-reforms package in five years.

Tsipras rode to power in January on a wave of popular anger against the tax hikes, spending cuts and reforms demanded by creditors in exchange for two previous bailouts costing 240 billion euros.

But he has faced a major rebellion in Syriza, with almost a third of its MPs opposed to the latest round of creditor-imposed austerity, either voting against or abstaining in the most recent parliamentary vote on the 86-billion-euro ($96-billion) deal.

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