Lucas Papademos sworn in as new Greek PM

 

Technocrat Prime Minister Lucas Papademos took office today to save Greece from bankruptcy, heading a coalition cabinet filled with many of the same politicians who led the nation into crisis and pushed the eurozone to the brink of collapse.

At a colourful swearing-in ceremony, black-robed Orthodox priests, led by the Archbishop of Athens, blessed Papademos, a former vice president of the European Central Bank, and a cabinet dominated by the two main parties which had bickered for four days before agreeing on the crisis coalition.

"With the unity of all people, we will succeed," Papademos told George Papandreou, who led the previous Socialist administration that fell apart last week.

Apart from Papademos, who has no political experience, the main new face in the cabinet is a minister from the LAOS party - the first time the far right has entered a Greek government since the country returned to democracy in 1974 following years of military rule.

The line-up includes Socialist party power broker Evangelos Venizelos, who keeps the post of finance minister that he held in Papandreou's government.

Analysts said Papademos - a quiet academic economist - had to assert his authority over a cabinet packed with the hardened conservative and Socialist party politicians who took turns in power for decades as Greece built up a huge debt that it could not manage, forcing an international bailout.

"Greece has a government that is the result of political compromise among three parties. It is obvious that there was a dealing of the cards," said Costas Panagopoulos, head of ALCO pollsters.

"It all now depends on how the prime minister handles them."

The interim government of national unity, which has a bumper 48 ministers and their deputies, has a clear mandate that may not be so simple to implement before it calls elections some time early next year.

It has to push through parliament Greece's second bailout deal in as many years, not only to get hold of the 130 billion euros of longer term funding it promises.

Greece also needs money fast from its IMF and EU lenders to meet hefty debt repayments due in December - or face default, bankruptcy and the danger of leaving the euro zone.

The European Union has said Greece will not get the latest 8 billion installment of the original bailout to fund December's repayments unless Athens signs up to the new deal, agreed at a eurozone summit last month.

A source from the so-called "troika" of the EU, the IMF and the ECB said inspectors would visit Athens early next week to speak with the new government and would clear the next tranche only when it pledged to meet its commitments.

Both the Socialist PASOK and the conservative New Democracy parties say they will vote for the new bailout in parliament.

However, the package demands policies and reforms which are likely to be highly unpopular as the parties prepared for the elections, expected in February at the earliest.

It stipulates yet more of the punishing austerity that has kept the country locked in a fourth year of recession, sent unemployment soaring to a record 18.4 percent and brought Greeks out on to the streets in sometimes violent protests.

"The big problem with this government is that it is not elected by the people," said Christoforos Vernardakis, a political scientist at Thessaloniki university. "If unemployment reaches 25 percent in December ... I doubt that a technocrat can implement any policies to cope with this."

Reuters

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Life and Style
The spring/summer 2015 Louis Vuitton show for Paris Fashion Week
fashion
Latest stories from i100
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

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?