Greek lawmakers wearing gloves are seen at the sworn-in ceremony of Katerina Sakellaropoulou in Athens, Greece, March 13, 2020. Katerina Sakellaropoulou was sworn in on Friday as Greek president at the parliament, Greece's national broadcaster ERT reported. The former top judge is the first female head of state in the history of modern Greece. (Thanassis Stavrakis/Pool via Xinhua)
ATHENS, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Katerina Sakellaropoulou was sworn in on Friday as the President of the Hellenic Republic. She is the first female head of state in the history of the modern Greek state.
The 63-year-old former top judge took the oath of office at the Greek parliament during a ceremony broadcast live on national broadcaster ERT.
Inside the parliament were only about 100 political leaders, MPs, high-ranking officials and other guests, instead of 1,000 attendees in such a ceremony usually.
It was due to emergency measures aimed at containing the novel coronavirus epidemic, which has infected 117 people in the country to date.
As a precautionary measure, there were no handshakes when attendees congratulated her.
After the ceremony, Sakellaropoulou laid a wreath at the monument of the Unknown Soldier in front of the parliament building, before leaving for the handover ceremony at the presidential mansion.
"I hope that the election of a woman in the country's highest post for the first time will give a boost to improve all women's role within the family and society," she said after being welcomed by her predecessor Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
As the sole candidate, Sakellaropoulou was elected on Jan. 22 with 261 votes in favor in the 300-member parliament.
She is the 8th Greek president since 1974 when democracy was restored and the 13th president in the history of the Hellenic Republic.
The post of president in Greece is mainly ceremonial. According to the Greek Constitution, the president is elected for a five-year term and can be re-elected only once.
Sakellaropoulou was president of the Council of State, Greece's highest administrative court, before taking the new role.