Greek president appoints top judge as caretaker PM

Greek president appoints Supreme Court judge Vassiliki Thanou as prime minister to lead the government until snap elections

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Aug 28, 2015

Vassiliki Thanou, Greece’s top Supreme Court judge, was appointed as a provisional prime mInister on Thursday until new election are held in September after negotiations to form coalition government failed.

Former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned last week as 25 lawmakers from his party Syriza left the party to form the new left-wing Popular Unity party led by Panagiotis Lafazanis after Tsipras decided to make as U-turn on his anti-austerity stance and agreed to the conditions laid out by Greece’s creditors..

Thanou has showed her negative position towards the austerity measures and will serve as the new prime minister at least until the upcoming election, which is expected to take place on Sept. 20 or 27.

"I'm especially happy because I'm receiving the first woman prime minister in the history of the Greek democracy, and this is an important step," Tsipras told Thano at a ceremony for Thanous’ taking over.

Before Thanou was appointed new prime minister making, her the first female prime minister for Greece, coalition talks did everything in order to avoid elections. However, the talks failed to merge a new government.

Greece has yet to carry out the new reforms imposed by the creditors which is included in the country’s 86 billion-euro bailout. Moreover, Greece has to find solutions for the migrant crisis that recently hit the country.

"The caretaker government's duties are mainly holding the elections in a fair and smooth fashion. Given the circumstances, however, I believe this government will be called upon to tackle critical issues such as, for example, the immigration issue, and, maybe, some others," Thanou told Tsipras as she was taking over.

The new ministers of Thanou’s government are to be announced on Friday.

According to Reuters, Syriza says it is likely to win the upcoming elections even though Tsipras made a U-turn and accepted the reforms. However, with many lawmakers against him, he would be called to cooperate with other parties in order to form his government.

Tsipras said that he will not collide with the New Democracy and Pasok political parties if such a win would occur. The To Potami party is also not a choice for Tsipras as he says they have many differences.

"Our differences are very significant," Tsipras said. "I believe all these three parties express the old party system. Certainly, I will not be the prime minister."

Stavros Theodorakis, the leader of To Potami, said that Tsipras gave an ultimatum to voters.

"Yesterday Mr. Tsipras made a huge provocation, saying to citizens whatever you vote I will not cooperate," he told Mega TV.

Varoufakis won't participate in ‘sad’ elections

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, will not run for the parliament as he does not support Tsipras’s ideas, he said.

“I'm not going to take part in these sad elections,” Varoufakis said. “I think we have betrayed the great majority of the Greek people,” he told the Nouvel Observateur, referring to the acceptance of the third bailout.

However, he will not join the left-wing Popular Unity party led by Panagiotis Lafazanis either, he said, but will try to form his own movement.

“Instead of having national parties that run on a national level it will be a European network which is active on a national level,” Varoufakis said.

“It's not something immediate. It's something slow-burning... something that gradually grows roots across Europe,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tsipras criticised Varoufakis’s time as a finance minister, saying that he “lost his credibility.”

“Varoufakis was talking but nobody paid any attention to him” he said, regarding the country’s negotiations.

“They had switched off, they didn't listen to what he was saying,” Tsipras said.

“He didn't say anything bad but he had lost his credibility among his interlocutors,” he added.

TRTWorld and agencies