SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras was once again sworn in as Greece’s prime minister in a brief ceremony on Monday evening, one day after his party sailed to a sensational victory in Sunday’s general elections.
Tsipras arrived at the presidential mansion a few minutes before 20:00 and was sworn in by President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos, with a civilian rather than religious oath.
In a meeting with Pavlopoulos at 18:00, Tsipras was been given a mandate to form a government, whose members are expected to be announced by Wednesday morning at the latest.
In statements concerning Sunday’s general elections, in which SYRIZA emerged victorious, Tsipras noted that they gave voters an opportunity to “draw their conclusions”. Following the statement of support from Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos, he added, “I consider that the required majority exists to proceed with the formation of a government.”
Pavlopoulos also commented on the overall atmosphere of the elections, noting that “the quality of our democracy is improving, despite the economic and social crisis, and that is comforting.” He said that on the basis of the relative strength of the parties, as this was announced to him, there was no reason to give an exploratory mandate and would give Tsipras a mandate to directly form a government.
He also proposed that Tsipras be sworn in at a ceremony at 20:00 on Monday and that the new government be sworn in at a time that Tsipras will propose.
Tsipras thanked Pavlopoulos for his part in helping coordinate the handling of the refugee crisis with the caretaker Prime Minister Vassiliki Thanou and said that he would like the formation of the government to proceed swiftly, in light of Wednesday’s European Council on the refugee issue, where Pavlopoulos was expected to participate representing Greece.
After the ceremony, PM Tsipras pledged on to do everything in his power to help Greece exit the economic crisis and restore it as an equal partner in the EU, during a meeting with Vassiliki Thanou, who served as caretaker premier in the pre-election period.
“I believe our country can come out of this difficult situation of the last five years and this is our commitment. To do everything in our power for the country and its people to exit this difficult situation and to make it strong again, an equal partner in the European Union and its people proud and dignified,” Tsipras told Thanou.
He then commended her for the work completed by the caretaker government which despite its brevity was “effective and efficient”. “You handled a tense situation with the refugee crisis and managed impeccably all current issues,” he noted, while adding that she made history by being the first female prime minister.
On her side, Vassiliki Thanou congratulated Tsipras on his win. “Once again, the people have surrounded you with their trust and have assigned you the governance of the country at a particularly crucial time, as you’re called to undertake the difficult task of implementing the reforms that have been voted, to drive the country out of the crisis and restore economic growth,” Thanou told Tsipras.