Greek snap election, no surprise: European Commission
European Commission says call by Greek PM Tsipras for snap election was expected following repeated phone calls with President Juncker

The European Commission said Greece’s snap election scheduled on Sept.20 had been expected following several phone calls between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Spokeswoman for the European Commission, Annika Breidthardt, told a news conference in Brussels on Friday: "The Commission respects the decision of Prime Minister Tsipras to go to the polls swiftly."

"For us this was not a surprise following the repeated phone calls between President Juncker and Prime Minister Tsipras and President [Prokopis] Pavlopoulos -- we expected it," she said.

Germany tells Greece to pass reforms despite elections

The German government has urged Greece to stick to reform commitments irrespective of the snap elections called by the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

"The relevant agreements are binding beyond the election,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said at a press conference in Berlin.

"Of course the German government expects, like all other European partners of Greece, the implementation of the reforms listed in the program, " he added.

Seibert stressed that Tsipras’ resignation had not been a surprise for the German government, and the Greek PM had informed German Chancellor Angela Merkel about his resignation during her visit to Brazil this week.

Germany’s Finance Ministry spokesman Jürg Weißgerber warned that any delay in implementation of reforms would also lead to delay in next payments to Greece.

"We expect that the promised reforms will be implemented on schedule until autumn,” he said, at the press conference in Berlin.

"If there will be delays in monitoring of the program due to new elections, then it would also mean that the next payments would delayed,” he said.

Tsipras resigned Thursday evening in a televised address to the Greek nation and called for a snap election, expected on Sept. 20.

Greece received the first 23 billion ($25 billion) tranche of the deal on Thursday -- with the overall package worth about €86 billion ($95.5 billion) -- and immediately repaid €3.2 billion ($3.6 billion) held by the European Central Bank, avoiding defaulting on its debt. The bank confirmed the payment on Thursday.

A split in the Greek SYRIZA ruling coalition led to the call for snap elections. The left wing of the party opposes the bailout.

Last Modified: 2015-08-22 07:06:52
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