The Greek president has appointed an interim prime minister as the country prepares for fresh elections in September. Vassiliki Thanou’s selection comes after all the major parties were unable to form governments.
Vassiliki Thanou was appointed caretaker prime minister on Thursday by Greece’s President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. Thanou, head of the country’s Supreme Court, will be the first woman to hold the position as the country gears up for snap elections likely to be held on September 20.
The 65-year-old will assume the post later on Thursday evening, and then appoint a cabinet to be sworn in the following day. Her appointment comes after parliament’s three largest parties were unable to find willing coalition partners.
Outgoing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned last week after only seven months in office. Tsipras, facing a revolt from within his left-wing Syriza party, hopes to bolster support for the country’s new bailout program with a fresh election.
Greece accepted its third bailout since 2010 in July, enraging hardliners among Syriza’s ranks who saw Tsipras’ actions, after running on a campaign against austerity, as betrayal to the country’s creditors.
Despite this flip, Tsipras is expected to emerge victorious in the September polls, although it is uncertain if he will get enough votes to govern alone or be forced to seek another coalition, though he has already ruled out aligning with any opposition centrist parties.
For his part, Tsipras’ maverick former Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis told Reuters news agency he will not partake in the “sad” elections.
Tsipras has accused Varoufakis of “losing credibility among his interlocutors” during debt negotiations with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
es/jil (AP, AFP, Reuters)