- Title: EUROZONE-GREECE/CARETAKER FILE Anti-austerity judge becomes first female Greek PM
- Date: 27th August 2015
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (FILE - SEPTEMBER 5, 2012) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** EXTERIOR OF GREEK SUPREME COURT PEOPLE GATHERED AT ENTRANCE TO COURT VARIOUS OF THEN VICE-PRESIDENT OF GREECE'S SUPREME COURT, VASSILIKI THANOU, WEARING JUDICIAL ROBES AND CAP SPEAKING DURING JUDGES' STRIKE PEOPLE LISTENING THANOU SPEAKING WITH PEOPLE THANOU SPEAKING ATHENS, GREECE (FILE - SEPTEMBER 17, 2012) (REUTERS) AMPHITHEATRE INSIDE SUPREME COURT VARIOUS OF THANOU SPEAKING FROM AMPHITHEATRE BENCH VARIOUS OF THANOU ON BENCH
- Embargoed: 11th September 2015 13:00
- Location: Greece
- Country: Greece
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA5OFIK0JROIIQWB1FC8H1D60RE
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Greece's top Supreme Court judge was named caretaker prime minister on Thursday (August 27) to lead the country to elections next month, ending a week of political wrangling after leftist leader Alexis Tsipras resigned.
Vassiliki Thanou, an anti-austerity advocate who has argued against wage cuts for judges and court officials, will be sworn in as the country's first female prime minister late on Thursday and her administration will be sworn in on Friday (August 28), when the election date of September 20 is expected to be announced.
Her appointment ends a week of fruitless negotiations as the top opposition party leaders took turns attempting to form a government under their constitutional right to do so if a prime minister resigns within a year of being elected.
The process dragged on for a week as the main conservative opposition and then the far-left Popular Unity party both used their allotted three days in full despite having no chance of success, hoping to delay the elections beyond Sept. 20.
The conservatives defended the delay tactics, saying all must be done to avoid a new round of elections that Greece does not need.
Popular Unity leader Panagiotis Lafazanis - who broke his rebel far-left faction away from Tsipras's Syriza party last week, taking a sixth of its lawmakers with him - used his three days to air his anti-bailout message before handing back the mandate on Thursday.
Tsipras remains hugely popular in Greece despite making a U-turn to accept a bailout programme and opposition parties feel a longer campaign period offers a better chance of denting his popularity as austerity cuts from the bailout start kicking in.
No major polls have been published in recent weeks but Syriza is expected to once again emerge as the biggest party in parliament when the snap election is held. But Tsipras is not expected to secure an absolute majority, forcing him to find a coalition partner, failing which a second round of elections could be held.
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