A decree has been signed setting elections in Greece on September 20, with parliament due reconvene in October. It's the first time the country will be run by a female prime minister.
The country's economic future, in the short-term, relies on it meeting all the demands set by the Troika in return for US$97 billion dollars in a deal that left radical left wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with no choice but to resign following a rebellion in his Syriza Party over his agreement with the Troika.
In January 2015, the Syriza party, with Alexis Tsipras at the helm, won the election based on pledging to resist further austerity demands from Brussels. Just seven months later and faced once again with economic collapse and an exit from the Eurozone, Tsipras reneged on his party promises and signed up to even stricter demands from the creditors in return for another bailout. The deal was only approved with the support of pro-European parties — and not his own.
Having been sworn-in to lead the interim government, Vassiliki Thanou's task is to steer the ship until the country goes to the polls during a time when Greece is facing an unprecedented immigration crisis, which Thanou pointed out in her first public comment in office.
"<…> Given the circumstances… I believe that this government will also have to handle crucial matters", Thanou said, suggesting that the numbers of refugees arriving on Greek shores is a situation as unstable and the country's economy. Greece has seen a 750 percent rise in the number of refugees and migrants arriving on its shores this year.
But the Syriza party is still topping election polls according to a survey carried out by ProRata for Efimerida Ton Syntakton newspaper. The same survey reveals that 68 percent of Greeks want to remain in the eurozone — despite the increased austerity measures.
The same survey also suggests that despite everything, Tsipras still remains in the wings as the most popular political leader with 41 percent of voters backing him — but his decision to call a snap poll to seek a fresh mandate might just cost him the next election on September 20.