Leader of the Greek radical-left Syriza party Alexis Tsipras
Athens - AFP
Greece's leftwing Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras pulled off another high-stakes gamble on Sunday, winning his second general election in a year with a fresh mandate to try to resolve the country's chronic debt crisis.
In a snap election called after Tsipras resigned as prime minister in August after losing his parliamentary majority, his Syriza party placed first with 35.46 percent of the vote, putting him in a position to form a new coalition government with a smaller nationalist party.
Here are key dates since Greek voters first placed their destiny in his hands.
- Tsipras takes over -
- January 25, 2015: The anti-austerity Syriza party led by Tsipras wins a general election with 36.3 percent of the vote and a pledge to renegotiate the terms of Greece's international bailout. A quarter of the workforce is unemployed at the time.
- Taking the eurozone by surprise -
- June 27: Tsipras catches eurozone finance ministers by surprise by calling a surprise July 5 referendum on the creditors' latest bailout proposals.
Three days later, Greece's bailout officially expires and Athens misses a 1.5-billion-euro ($1.6-billion) debt payment to the International Monetary Fund.
- July 5: Greek referendum voters roundly reject the creditors' proposals, with 61.31 percent saying "No".
The next day, the country's firebrand finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, steps down in what is widely seen as a gesture aimed at placating creditors.
- A bitter pill -
- July 13: Greece and its creditors agree to preliminary terms of the nation's third bailout deal in five years, but in return for harsher reforms than those rejected in the referendum.
Tsipras names a new cabinet on July 17 that excludes hardliners opposed to the bailout terms.
- August 14: Parliament approves the bailout, but more than a third of Syriza MPs rebel, forcing Tsipras to rely on the opposition for support.
- Tsipras quits -
- August 20: Tsipras quits and calls for new elections -- the country's fourth since 2012 -- in a bid to regain office with a strengthened hand. The announcement comes as Athens receives the first tranche of bailout cash from the EU's bailout fund, allowing it to repay a 3.4-billion-euro debt to the European Central Bank on time.
The next day, 25 former Syriza deputies break away to form a new party, called Popular Unity.
- Second chance -
- September 20: Syriza wins a surprisingly strong victory and looks set to again form a coalition with the Independent Greeks (ANEL) party that will push through the painful reforms demanded by the country's creditors.