Greek Supreme Court chief named transitional PM
Updated: 2015-08-28 00:03
Supreme Court judge Vassiliki Thanou addresses a parliamentary session on the occasion of the International Women's Day in Athens, Greece in this March 9, 2015 file photo.[Photo/Agencies]
ATHENS - The President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos named on Thursday the country's Supreme Court President Vassiliki Thanou as transitional Prime Minister to lead the country to early general elections within a month, according to an official announcement issued by the president's office.
The 65-year-old judge will become the first woman to take up the post of Greece's prime minister.
Thanou will take her oath on Thursday evening, according to the statement, while the ministers of the interim government will be sworn in on Friday.
According to local media reports, technocrat Yorgos Chouliarakis, a key member in Greece's financial team during negotiations with international creditors in recent years, will be appointed Finance Minister of the debt-laden country.
Veteran diplomat Petros Molyviatis who has served twice as Minister of Foreign Affairs was expected to take over the same portfolio until the next government is formed after the elections.
Also on Friday Pavlopoulos was expected to set the date of the ballots, with most likely Sept. 20. On the same day the parliament was expected to be formally dissolved.
Thursday's announcement came shortly after Panagiotis Lafazanis, the leader of the third largest parliamentary group, the newly formed Popular Unity, informed the head of state that he did not achieve to form a government from the current parliament.
Following the resignation of the outgoing Leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the failure of leaders of the three largest parties in parliament to form a new government in three different bids after receiving mandates, under the Greek Constitution the president named the Supreme Court chief as transitional Premier.
Tsipras and his government stepped down last Thursday forcing the elections just eight months after the Jan. 25 national polls that brought the Radical Left SYRIZA party in power.
In a TV interview on Wednesday night he repeated that he felt it was his moral duty to request a fresh mandate from the Greek electorate to move forward after the recent signing of the third bailout deal with Greece's lenders since 2010.
According to political analysts in Athens Tsipras has taken a gamble, hoping that SYRIZA can win the parliamentary majority this time so that he can form a more stable government to implement the painful new program and lead Greece out of the debt crisis.
The Leftist leader has said that even in the case of securing parliamentary majority he will seek to form a coalition government with the right-wing Independent Greeks again.
On the contrary he has ruled out cooperation with the main opposition conservative New Democracy party, the socialists of PASOK, the centrist Potami (River) party or the Popular Unity as "forces belonging to the past."
The Popular Unity was formed last Friday from 25 MPs who rebelled and broke away from SYRIZA denouncing the party's U-turn from initial pledges on putting an end to austerity measures and tearing up bailouts.
Tsipras gradually changed the rhetoric during his term in office and this summer told Greeks that after months of negotiations he opted for a painful deal on a new bailout with lenders instead of leading the country to a rift, default and Grexit.
He promised that his new government will make the utmost effort to promote policies that will ease the burden off the shoulders of recession-hit Greek households and businesses.
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