Greece's president formally gave the conservative opposition a chance on Friday to form a new government after leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned, but the country appears almost certain to be heading to an election next month.
Tsipras quit on Thursday, hoping to strengthen his hold on power in a snap election after seven months in office in which he fought Greece's creditors for a better bailout deal but had to cave in.
Outgoing Deputy Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis said only an election could stabilise Greece after Tsipras's Syriza party split over accepting the onerous terms of Greece's third bailout.
"Elections surely have an indirect cost ... but will clear things up so we can move ahead," he told the state TV channel ERT. "There are political forces which consider the bailout a salvation. Syriza was forced to make this political choice but not because of ideology."