Care­taker PM takes over

Ahead of Sep 20 elec­tions, top judge Thanou be­comes first woman to hold po­si­tion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Vas­si­liki Thanou was in­stalled yesterday as Greece’s first, al­beit care­taker, fe­male prime min­is­ter and given the task of guid­ing the coun­try to snap elec­tions on Septem­ber 20.

The care­taker cab­i­net is due to be sworn in at noon to­day. Vet­eran diplo­mat Pet­ros Molyvi­atis is due to be named for­eign min­is­ter, while a key mem­ber of Greece’s ne­go­ti­at­ing team for the third bailout, Gior­gos Hou­liarakis, is ex­pected to be made fi­nance min­is­ter.

Aca­demic An­to­nis Man­i­takis, who served in a pre­vi­ous coali­tion, is due to take over at the In­te­rior Min­istry, where he will be re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing the elec­tion process, which is ex­pected to cost close to 40 mil­lion eu­ros. Deputy Jus­tice Min­is­ter Dim­itris Pa­pan­gelopou­los, a for­mer judge, will be pro­moted to the se­nior po­si­tion at the min­istry.

Thanou was sworn in last night af­ter Pres­i­dent Prokopis Pavlopou­los called all the party lead­ers in­di­vid­u­ally yesterday af­ter­noon and es­tab­lished there was no prospect of a gov­ern­ment be­ing formed from the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Out­go­ing Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras, coali­tion part­ner Panos Kam­menos, Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michalo­li­akos and Com­mu­nist Party chief Dim­itris Kout­soubas all de­clined the op­por­tu­nity to take part in the face-to-face dis­cus­sion, leav­ing Pavlopou­los with lit­tle choice but to aban­don the process.

Ear­lier, Pop­u­lar Unity leader Panayi­o­tis Lafaza­nis met Pavlopou­los to hand back the ex­ploratory man­date he had re­ceived and urged the pres­i­dent not to speak to the party lead­ers on the tele­phone but to force them all to come to a meet­ing.

New Democ­racy leader Evan­ge­los Meimarakis con­tin­ued to in­sist yesterday that snap elec­tions could have been avoided and claimed that if the con­ser­va­tives win the bal­lot, he will at­tempt to form a gov­ern­ment of the “most able and wor­thy, re­gard­less of what they voted for.”

He also ac­cused Tsipras of try­ing to “turn his naivety into an ad­van­tage.” Meimarakis told MPs that he would fo­cus over the next three weeks on show­ing vot­ers that he is more re­li­able than the SYRIZA leader. “I won’t tell lies like he does,” he said.

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