Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos announced on Wednesday that elections will be held on May 6. He asked for parliament to be dissolved, a procedural formality that marks the start of the electoral period.
The vote will be held almost two years to the day after Greece became the first euro zone member country to ask for international aid at the start of the euro zone debt crisis.
The May 6 elections will be the first time Greece will go to the polls since its economic crisis began in late 2009. In October 2009, the then Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was forced to step aside after some two years in office during a political crisis that raised doubts about the country’s future in the euro zone. Papademos was appointed to head an interim government until formal elections.
It is feared that the election of a new government may jeopardize austerity policies on which 130 billion euros of bailout funds depend.
“The government that will emerge from the May 6 election has a tough task ahead of it,” Papademos said in the televised message on Wednesday.
The first task of the new Greek government will be to detail some 11 billion euros in further austerity measures which has to be done before June.