The Judge Who Could be Greece’s First Female Prime Minister

th2012091700221-previewAs scenarios of snap elections abound, Greece’s Constitution requires that the current government resigns and a transitional Prime Minister is appointed. According to the law, that person should be the Supreme Court President.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has not decided yet if elections will be held late September or late October. Nevertheless, snap elections are a certainty, therefore the SYRIZA-ANEL government will have to resign and a transitional Prime Minister should be appointed.

As of July 1, Greece’s Supreme Court President is Vassiliki Thanou-Christophilou after the retirement of her predecessor, Athanasios Koutroumanos. Her appointment was a recommendation of Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos. Before her appointment she was Supreme Court Vice President as well as President of the Greek Prosecutors Association.

Thanou also serves as President of the Electoral Court as she is the oldest of the three Vice-Presidents of the three higher courts of the country (Council of State, Supreme Court and Court of Auditors). The Electoral Court examines appeals against the validity of parliamentary elections, European elections and referenda.

Born in Chalkida in 1950, the Supreme Court Judge graduated from the Athens School of Law with post-graduate studies at the Sorbonne University on European Law.

Thanou entered the judiciary body in 1975 and was promoted to President of the First Instance Court in 1992, to appellate in 1996 and President of the Appeals Court in 2005. After her promotion to Supreme Court Judge in 2008, she became Vice President of the Supreme Court in 2014.

For the past six years, she teaches Civil Law at the National School of Magistrates. She is married and has three children.