Greek prime minister says doesn't want early elections but party rebels could force his hand

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Greece's prime minister says he does not want early elections, but rebels within his radical left Syriza party could force his hand.

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Alexis Tsipras said Wednesday that if he loses his parliamentary majority, which has been challenged by party hardliners who oppose Greece's talks for a new international bailout, he will have to call national elections.

Tsipras said in an interview with Syriza's Sto Kokkino radio station that he wants to hold a party congress in September, once the vital bailout deal is sealed, to decide on the party's future.

Tsipras' six-month-old government is negotiating the terms of the 85 billion euro bailout — Greece's third in little more than five years — with representatives of the country's international creditors. The deal must be concluded before Aug. 20.