Saturday, November 12, 2011

New Greek cabinet sworn

Greece's new interim Cabinet was sworn in on Friday, with former European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos at its helm as Prime Minister and the key position of finance minister unchanged.

Papademos was appointed on Thursday to head the temporary coalition government, which includes ministers from Greece's two largest parties and a smaller right-wing party, after a two-week political crisis that endangered the country's continued bailout funding and raised questions about its position within the eurozone.
The new government of Papademos, who also spent time as Greece's central bank governor, must now implement the terms of Greece's latest debt deal, a 130 billion euro (USD 177 billion) agreement reached by the European Union on 27th October.
It includes provisions for private bondholders to forgive 50 percent, or some 100 billion euro of their Greek debt holdings.
He must also secure the next 8 billion euro installment of the country's initial 110 billion euro eurozone and International Monetary Fund bailout, without which Greece will default in a matter of weeks.
Once that is done and the country has implemented the new debt agreement, Papademos is to lead the country to early elections, tentatively scheduled for February.
The new government will face a confidence vote in Parliament in the coming days, a vote it is almost certain to win as it enjoys the support of both major parties, the socialists headed by George Papandreou, who led the country through the past two years of financial crisis, and the conservatives of Antonis Samaras.

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