Panagiotis Pikramenos will lead the caretaker government of Greece, which has been formed to hold the new elections. Under the Constitution, a caretaker prime minister of the country should be elected the chairman of one of the three supreme courts. Pikramenos is the chairman of the State Council and he was nominated by the leader of Independent Greeks Panos Kamenos. This is the result of another series of heated debates between the leaders of major political parties under the supervision of President Carlos Papoulias, which was held on Wednesday after the failed talks on the coalition government.
PASOK and New Democracy proposed the current Prime Minister of the interim government Lucas Papademos for caretaker prime minister. Initially, this nomination had been supported by the leader of the Democratic Left, Fotis Kouvelis. After mentioning the name of Pikramenos, political leaders have decided to support a more neutral figure in the public and political life of the country. Panagiotis Pikramenos has a long career in the legal field and in 2010, he was appointed chairman of the State Council (supreme administrative court). His term in this post will expire in 2014 when he is expected to retire. Pikramenos is known as a strict and effective senior judicial magistrate and he is the only person around whom political antagonists were able to unite in order for the elections to take place on 17 June.
Foreign media interest in the next meeting of leaders of political parties on Wednesday was significantly lower. After the country failed to form a coalition government on Tuesday, when it was its last chance to avoid new early elections, foreign media have temporarily lost their interest. They are waiting for the deputies to swear in the National Assembly tomorrow. It will be a purely procedural step in order to be dismissed on Friday or next Monday at the latest in the name of the new campaign.
According to a recent poll by VPRC, SYRIZA will benefit from the new elections and it will rank as first party with about 20% of the vote. Democratic Left is expected to win about 6% again, whereas PASOK and New Democracy will lose more supporters and will have 10% and 14% of the vote. Panos Kamenos’ party Independent Greeks is also expected to lose some of its supporters and the poll percentage for them is 3.7%. The Greek Communist Party KKE will suffer too as it is not expected to receive even 5% of the vote. According to the same poll by VPRC, Golden Dawn will not even manage to cross the 3% threshold to enter parliament in the elections in June.
An hour after the meeting of political leaders, the President of the Republic Carlos Papoulias invited Panagiotis Pikramenos to formally inform him of his new role. "This is a great honour for me. Thank you for the vote of confidence. I hope I will be able to implement the task assigned, namely to lead a caretaker government. It has only one purpose - to lead the country and carry out the next parliamentary elections." These were the first words of Pikaramenos at the meeting with the President. He explained that the country is going through an extremely difficult period and he will fulfil his duties responsibly to enable Greece to obtain a stable and reliable government after the elections. The new caretaker prime minister was sworn in at 8 pm on Wednesday.