Greece’s conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras announced his resignation on Sunday, after an overwhelming majority of Greek citizens voted against austerity and the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) bailout propositions in a nation wide referendum.
"I understand that our great movement needs a new start,” the New Democracy leader, a former prime minister, said in a televised address.
“From today I am stepping down from the leadership," said Samaras. With no deal reached last weekend, after Greek efforts to secure an extension for an IMF debt failed, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called his nation to vote in a referendum for bailout terms, offering proposals to reduce the pressure on bank balance sheets.
Samaras, 64, had been called to step down since his party lost the general elections in January against the leftist Syriza party led by Alexis Tsipras.
Samaras’ time as party leader was initially going to end in 2016, with a fragile coalition unable to choose a presidential candidate, an early ballot occurred.
The New Democracy party campaigned for a ‘Yes’ vote for the referendum, warning Greek citizens that dismissing the international creditors proposals may see Greece in further economic turmoil and arise the possibility of dropping out of the eurozone
Greek citizens have overwhelmingly voted ‘’no’’ on Sunday to reject bailout propositions from its international lenders, showing defiance that may split Europe.
With over 90 percent of votes counted, official figures show that 61 percent of Greeks have dismissed the IMF bailout propositions and harsh austerity measures in a nation-wide referendum.