Defiant Greek PM Tsipras Rallies Supporters for July 7 Snap Elections

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged his SYRIZA party on Monday to regroup and heed the message of voters ahead of snap national elections he called after his ruling SYRIZA party suffered a resounding defeat in the European and local elections.

The spokesman of the Greek Government Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, speaking with Alpha TV on Tuesday evening, confirmed that the elections will be held on July 7, and not June 30, as originally thought.

According to reports, Tsipras spoke with Education Minister Kostas Gavroglou who recommended Sunday, July 7, as the day for national elections, as the schools which become polling stations host university entrance exams, which end on July 2.

“SYRIZA lost a battle, but the war still lies ahead,” Tsipras declared, addressing the Central Committee meeting of SYRIZA, “and we have neither the luxury nor the right to back down.”

Thanking the voters who supported him, Tsipras said he had received the message sent in the Europarliament elections, where his party received only 23.79 percent of the vote behind main opposition New Democracy’s 33.19 percent.

“I know the struggle we are facing will be difficult, but it is one that can be won,” the premier said, referring to national elections that will be held on July 7, and he called on party cadres to “get up together, re-form, and fight.”

Criticizing other parties for their Europarliament election stances, the PM accused Movement for Change (KINAL) for its “full frontal attack against Syriza” and issued what he called a “democratic invitation to all progressive and democratic citizens” to vote for Syriza.