Vassiliki Thanou, president of Greece's supreme court, was sworn in Thursday as head of a caretaker government that will lead the heavily indebted nation until elections expected next month.
President Prokopis Pavlopoulos appointed Thanou, 65, as the country's first female prime minister after leaders of the three main political parties failed to form a coalition to replace the government of outgoing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Her administration will be sworn in Friday, according to a statement from Pavlopoulos' office.
Tsipras announced his resignation last week and said he would seek a new mandate after some members of his radical-left party, Syriza, rebelled over austerity measures demanded by the nation's creditors.
The party won election in January on promises to end the deep budget cuts and tax increases imposed in exchange for two bailouts from Greece's European partners and the International Monetary Fund totaling nearly $270 billion since 2010. Greece's economy contracted 25% and unemployment soared to as high as 26% over the five years of belt-tightening.
More than 60% of Greek voters rejected the terms of a new package of loans in a referendum last month, only to have Tsipras agree to even tougher conditions for a $96-billion bailout. He said it was the best deal he could get to save Greece's banks from imminent collapse, keep the country in the euro currency and avoid defaulting on international loans.
Parliament approved the agreement, but only with the support of opposition parties. The former energy minister, Panagiotis Lafazanis, broke with Syriza last week to form the new Popular Unity party.
Tsipras said it was now up to voters to decide "who will lead Greece, and how." He remains popular, but it is unclear whether Syriza can win enough parliamentary seats to govern without a coalition partner.
In an interview Wednesday with Greece's Alpha TV, Tsipras ruled out forming a government with the conservative New Democracy, the socialist PASOK or the centrist To Potami parties.
That could leave Syriza's current partner, the small, right-wing Independent Greeks, as the only viable option.