London, Thanasis Gavos

His resignation from the leadership of the country and his party “for personal and political reasons” announced the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

While he immediately steps down from the leadership of the Fine Gael partywill remain prime minister until his successor is able to take office.

The election of Fine Gael’s new leader will take place before the party conference on April 6so that the Irish Dail Parliament can elect a new Prime Minister upon returning from the Easter break (in mid-April).

As he explained during the surprise announcement, he thinks so a new prime minister will be in a better position to give further impetus to the country. “After seven years in office, I am no longer the best for this position”said a visibly moved Mr Varadkar.

“We give everything until we can’t anymore. And then we leave”he added, assuring that this is the only reason for the resignation and that he is not leaving to take up another position.

He listed a number of achievements of his administration, but admitting at the same time that there are also areas in which sufficient success has not been achieved or there was even backsliding, leaving his opponents to name them.

The first names of his possible replacements to be heard are those of the ministers Pascal Donohue, Simon Harris, Simon Coveney and Heather Humphreys.

Mr Varadkar is in his second term as Prime Minister from December 2022, after the period 2017-2020.

He had become Ireland’s youngest leader when he took over the reins of centre-right Fine Gael.