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Greece swears in its first female prime minister

Greece saw its first female prime minister, Vassiliki Thanou, sworn in on Thursday as the new head of the financially troubled nation’s caretaker government. New elections will be held next month.

Thanou, Greece’s top Supreme Court judge, was appointed by President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and takes over at a time of financial turmoil for the country which has jeopardized its eurozone membership.  

Former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned last week after holding the position for seven months. Tsipras, who was part of the leftist Syriza party, saw a split in his own party after negotiating a new bailout deal.  

Tsipras has said he needs a stronger mandate in order to implement tougher austerity measures. After he stepped down, party opposition leaders tried to form a new government to no avail.

Tsipras has indicated he will run again in the next elections, which are expected on Sept. 20, in the hopes of achieving an outright majority.

Meanwhile, Thanou historically has been vocal against austerity measures and the bailout. Her new Cabinet, sworn in Friday, will implement several austerity measures that are conditions of the new bailout, according to the Associated Press. She also signed a decree dissolving Parliament.

Among the new Cabinet members is Giorgos Houliarakis, the chief negotiator in the third bailout package, who will serve as finance minister. Diplomat Petros Moliviatis will serve as foreign minister and popular Greek singer Alkistis Protopsalti as tourism minister.    

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