The Greek government named the country’s top Supreme Court judge as its interim prime minister until an election is held next month. Vassiliki Thanou, 65, will become Greece’s first female prime minister, the Associated Press reported.
Greece President Prokopis Pavlopoulos made the announcement Thursday. Thanou was expected to be sworn in later in the evening and appoint a Cabinet on Friday. Thanou’s appointment comes after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stepped down last week following the acceptance of bailout terms that included austerity measures unpopular with his constituents in the Syriza political party. Greece has undergone political turmoil in recent months over its dire financial situation, which has jeopardized its membership in the European Union.
In July, Thanou became president of Greece’s Supreme Court, the Greek Reporter said. A longtime legal practitioner and scholar, Thanou began her career in 1975. She was promoted to a Supreme Court judge in 2008 and taught civil law for six years. Thanou is a married mother of three.
The Telegraph has described Thanou as a critic of the European bailout program in Greece. Tsipras had argued that he had to accept European terms to avoid a default. Greece had previously accepted two bailouts since its economic crisis began in 2010.
Tsipras stepped down after only seven months on the job. He seeks to return to office with a strong mandate in the election expected to take place Sept. 20.
"I want to be honest with you. We did not achieve the agreement we expected before the January elections," he told the Greek people when he resigned. "I feel the deep ethical and political responsibility to put to your judgment all I have done, successes and failures."