May 27, 2019 / 5:24 PM / 5 months ago

Greek PM says Syriza needs to regroup and focus ahead of snap poll

FILE PHOTO: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addresses lawmakers during a parliamentary session before a vote on tax breaks in Athens, Greece, May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/File Photo

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday urged his Syriza party to regroup and heed the message of voters ahead of snap national elections he called after a resounding defeat from opposition conservatives in European Parliament elections.

In a speech designed to rally Syriza party faithful, Tsipras said the result of Sunday’s vote, which saw opposition New Democracy ahead by about ten points, fell below his expectations.

“The crucial thing in life is not if you will fall, but if you will get up,” Tsipras said.

“I want to ask you all, today, to get up, and regroup, and fight. We very well know we can do it. Because our main strength is that we are defending what is just, our values, the values of the democratic faction and of the left.”

Tsipras has said he plans early elections after Sunday’s defeat. It is widely speculated they could take place as early as June 30.

Reporting By Michele Kambas

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