Snap Greek Elections Are the Latest Chapter in the Bailout Saga

Snap Greek Elections Are the Latest Chapter in the Bailout Saga
Alexis Tsipras, leader of radical left Syriza party and former prime minister, waves to supporters during a pre-election rally, Athens, Greece, Sept. 13, 2015 (AP photo by Yorgos Karahalis).

Greeks head to the polls this Sunday after a split in the ruling far-left Syriza party over Greece’s bailout prompted Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to resign and call snap elections. A poll released Tuesday shows Syriza neck and neck with the center-right New Democracy party—27.0 percent support to 27.5, respectively—putting into doubt Tsipras’ ability to return as prime minister.

Syriza came to power in January on a staunch anti-austerity platform. However, Tsipras was unable to negotiate an end to austerity with Greece’s creditors—the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank. Throughout the spring Greece faced the risk of running out of money and defaulting on its loans. In late June Tsipras reached a deal with Greece’s creditors, but surprised many European leaders by calling for a referendum on the bailout package. Greeks overwhelmingly rejected the bailout in the July vote. But two weeks later, the Greek parliament approved a three-year, 86 billion euro bailout package, without the support of many Syriza parliamentarians, causing a split in the party and leading to Tsipras’ resignation.

Tuesday’s poll is the latest indicator of falling support for both Tsipras and Syriza. In March, Tsipras had an approval rating of 70 percent. It now hovers around 30 percent.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.