Greek caretaker government sworn in ahead of elections

A caretaker government, led by Greece’s first female prime minister, was sworn in as the country heads to early elections next month, the third time Greeks will go to the polls this year.

Prime Minister Vassiliki Thanou, a top judge, and her cabinet will lead the country to elections expected to be on September 20, following outgoing prime minister Alexis Tsipras’ resignation last week.

He stepped down following a rebellion by members of his radical-left Syriza party who objected to his agreement with the conditions of Greece’s third bailout.

The new cabinet may be in power for less than a month but it will have to oversee the implementation of several of the austerity measures which are conditions of the new bailout.

The finance ministry post went to Giorgos Houiarakis, an academic who had been on Greece’s negotiating team during talks with creditors.

Veteran diplomat Petros Moliviatis was named as foreign minister, a position he has held twice in the past.

A highly popular singer, Alkistis Protopsalti, was named tourism minister.

Thanou,65, head of the Supreme Court, had been sworn in on Thursday.

Tsipras, who resigned barely seven months into his four-year mandate, has said he needs a stronger mandate to implement austerity measures accompanying the three-year, €86bn bailout.

The first major opinion poll since elections were called — published in the left-leaning Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper yesterday, found small support for his move.

Some 64% said Tsipras was wrong to call the snap poll, compared to 24% who considered it correct. The remainder took no position or did not reply.

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