ATHENS, Greece — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned Thursday and called early elections, hoping for a new, stronger mandate to implement a three-year bailout program that sparked a rebellion within his radical left party.

In a televised address to the nation, Tsipras said his government had got the best deal possible for the country when it agreed to a $95 billion bailout from other eurozone countries.

The rescue was all that kept Greece from a disastrous exit from the euro but came with strict terms to cut spending and raise taxes – the very measures Tsipras had pledged to fight when he won elections in January.

His U-turn in accepting the demands by the country’s creditors led to outrage among hardliners in his Syriza party, with dozens voting against him during the bailout’s ratification in parliament last week, which was approved thanks to support from opposition parties.

Tsipras has insisted that although he disagrees with the conditions of the bailout terms, he had no choice but to accept and implement them to keep Greece in the euro, which the vast majority of Greeks want.

Greece’s European creditors did not appear dismayed by Tsipras’ move, which comes less than seven months into his four-year mandate.


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