Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announces resignation as he calls for snap elections

In a televised address, Mr Tsipras said Greece got the best possible deal for its 86 billion euro bailout

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The Independent Online

The Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, has announced his resignation and called for early elections in a televised address to the nation.

Mr Tsipras had been expected to seek early elections to quell a rebellion in his leftist Syriza party and seal support to implement a tough bailout programme.

In his address, Mr Tsipras defended his government's negotiating tactics and said Greece got the best possible deal for its €86 billion bailout.

He said he felt a "deep moral" obligation to lay his actions before the judgement of the Greek people following the country securing the funding.

He is due to formally submit his resignation to the country's president, the Press Association has reported, while elections will be held in a month.

Government officials have said 20 September is the likeliest date.

Mr Tsipras had earlier met with senior party officials and ministers to discuss the government's next move as Greece paid off  €3.3bn to the European Central Bank.

The Prime Minister effectively lost his parliamentary majority after a rebellion by hardliners in his Syriza party who oppose a bailout agreement struck with international lenders.

Earlier on Thursday, Energy and Environment Minister Panos Skourletis said: "The certainty is that the need for elections has arisen."

Additional reporting by PA and Reuters