Lucas Papademos named as new Greek PM

 

Greece named former European Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos today to head a crisis government, ending a chaotic search for a leader to save the country from default, bankruptcy and an exit from the euro zone.

A sombre Papademos called on Greeks to unite behind him after months of divisive politicking, as he sets about securing a bailout from the European Union that will impose yet more hardship on a nation already suffering soaring unemployment.

"The Greek economy is facing huge problems despite the efforts undertaken," Papademos said as he emerged from the coalition talks brokered by President Karolos Papoulias.

"The choices we make will be decisive for the Greek people. The path will not be easy but I am convinced the problems will be resolved faster and at a smaller cost if there is unity, understanding and prudence."

The cabinet, which has yet to be named, will be sworn in at tomorrow, a presidential official said after Papademos agreed on a national unity government with outgoing Prime Minister George Papandreou and the opposition leader.

The EU's two top officials - now also facing a similar political crisis in Italy, a much bigger country that many economists say is far too big to bail out like Greece - welcomed news of the naming of Papademos.

"We reiterate that our European institutions will continue to do everything within their power to help Greece. But Greece must also do everything within its power to help itself," European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said in a joint statement.

They said they had told Greece's leaders they needed to send "a strong cross-party message", put aside domestic political wrangling and start shrinking the country's huge debt load.

Papademos, a respected figure in European capitals and on financial markets, said the coalition had the specific task of implementing a 130 billion euro bailout deal with the eurozone before calling an early election.

He cuts a grey and uncharismatic figure in the colourful and chaotic world of Greek politics, but also has a reputation for being calm at a time when the nation is clamouring for stability.

Greeks reacted with exhausted relief that an internationally-recognised technocrat will be in charge after four days of often shambolic negotiations between party leaders on forming the coalition.

"After three days of farcical comedy, Greece has today a prime minister who is fully qualified to succeed in the task he has been assigned to," said Costas Panagopoulos, head of pollsters Alco.

"The fact that the parties finally managed to cooperate is also very positive. I hope that the big gap between political parties and Greek citizens will now start shrinking."

But analysts abroad were cautious on whether Papademos can impose the tough austerity required by the 130 billion euro bailout deal on a Greek people who have already staged a wave of strikes and protests against budget cuts and higher taxes.

"It's going to be extremely difficult for them to implement these measures because there will be very strong public opposition to them," said Jennifer McKeown, senior European economist at Capital Economics in London.

"Some of these measures will be pushed through but in the long run the situation will not improve until Greece leaves the eurozone and devalues its currency."

Analysts also say Papademos, a man with no political experience, may struggle to exert his authority over hardened party figures in his cabinet.

Greeks were just thankful the coalition agreement had been sealed after long-running negotiations during which party leaders struck a deal to install the speaker of parliament as premier, only for it to collapse at the last minute.

"It is the only good thing in this case, which has made us all a laughing stock," former Greek President Costis Stefanopoulos told Mega TV shortly before the deal was struck.

Reuters

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Dynamics CRM Developer (C#, .NET, Dynamics CRM 2011/2013)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Dynamics CRM D...

Web Developer (C#, ASP.NET, AJAX, JavaScript, MVC, HTML)

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...

C# R&D .NET Developer-Algorithms, WCF, WPF, Agile, ASP.NET,MVC

£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...

C# Developer (Web, HTML5, CSS3, ASP.NET, JS, Visual Studios)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor