The leader of SYRIZA Alexis Tsipras announced he is resigning after the crushing defeat his party suffered in the Greek elections.
SYRIZA won just 17.84 percent of the vote on Sunday and is left with just 48 MPs in the 300-strong Greek parliament.
“It is necessary to invent a new SYRIZA that will read the new challenges of the time and meet the expectations”, he noted.
Tsipras said that he will not be a candidate for the new leader of the party, but that he will remain an active member.
He emphasized that he is proud of what his party has succeeded in and referred to the exit from the era of the bailouts and the Prespa Agreement.
“The electoral defeat, paradoxical as it may seem, will mark the beginning of the new cycle for SYRIZA”, said Tsipras.
“Let’s reorganize immediately, let no day be lost,” he added.
“I took over a small party of the left at the age of only 34, and the journey we took together was sometimes dangerous, but also exciting”, said Alexis Tsipras and pointed out that SYRIZA was the first left-wing party to govern in Europe and he was the first left-wing prime minister in Greece.
Newly re-elected PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis reacted to the resignation of Tsipras by making a statement.
“This is an expected decision after three overwhelming defeats suffered by SYRIZA and himself personally”, Mitsotakis said referring to the elections of 2019, May 2023 and June 2023.
“SYRIZA was a party that in recent years, both in the government and in the opposition, was identified with toxicity, with divisive speech but also with deafening inefficiency when called upon to manage the fortunes of the country.
“Parties must unite citizens and propose realistic and workable solutions for citizens’ problems, and SYRIZA has never followed this path. I sincerely hope it does so,” the prime minister added.
Tsipras resigns after 15 years as leader of SYRIZA
Tsipras has been the leader of the Greek political party SYRIZA since 2009. Tsipras is the fourth prime minister to have governed in the course of the 2010s Greek government-debt crisis.
Originally an outspoken critic of the austerity policies implemented during the crisis, his tenure in office was marked by an intense austerity policy, mostly in the context of the third EU bailout of Greece (2015–18).
In January 2015, Tsipras led SYRIZA to victory in a snap legislative election, winning 149 out of 300 seats in the Hellenic Parliament and forming a coalition with the Independent Greeks.
On 20 August 2015, seven months into his term as prime minister, he lost his majority after intraparty defections, announced his resignation, and called for a snap election to take place the following month.
In the September 2015 election that followed, Tsipras led SYRIZA to another victory, winning 145 out of 300 seats and re-forming the coalition with the Independent Greeks.
Opposition parties in Greece have accused Tsipras of populism in promising things he could not deliver.
He is also accused of having capitulated to the lenders by enacting increasingly harsh austerity measures to keep his country afloat, in contrast with his pre-election promises.