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Greece's new prime minister names caretaker government

Published 28/08/2015

Outgoing prime minister Alexis Tsipras shakes hands with Greece's new leader Vassiliki Thanou. (AP)
Outgoing prime minister Alexis Tsipras shakes hands with Greece's new leader Vassiliki Thanou. (AP)

Greece's new prime minister has named the members of her caretaker government as the country prepares for early elections next month.

The appointments come a day after Supreme Court head Vassiliki Thanou was sworn into office.

The 65-year-old was appointed after outgoing prime minister Alexis Tsipras resigned last week following a rebellion by members of his radical-left Syriza party who objected to his agreement with the conditions of Greece's third international bailout.

The finance ministry post goes to Giorgos Houliarakis, an academic who had been on Greece's negotiating team during talks with creditors.

Pop singer Alkistis Protopsalti was named tourism minister.

Elections are expected to be set for September 20. Mr Tsipras has said he needs a stronger mandate to implement the tough austerity measures accompanying the three-year, 86 billion euro bailout, but an opinion poll published in the left-leaning Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper found little support for his move.

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

A total of 68% said they believe the country should remain within the euro even if it means further austerity measures and sacrifices. Asked whether the government got the best deal it could for the third bailout, 48% said yes and 45% disagreed.

The poll showed Syriza supported by 23%, compared to 26% in an early July survey by the same company. The conservative New Democracy party stood at about 20% compared to 15% in July.

The small nationalist Independent Greeks, Syriza's partner in the seven-month coalition government, were backed by 2%, below the 3% threshold for to enter parliament.

Mr Tsipras has ruled out forming a coalition with any of the centre-right or centre-left parties if he fails to win a majority to govern outright, meaning he would be unable to form a government unless a party that didn't make it into parliament last time manages to win more than 3%.

The poll was conducted by the ProRata company on August 25-26 with a sample of 1,000 people nationwide and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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