New Government Sworn In
A new coalition government under Prime Minister Lucas Papademos was sworn in during a ceremony at the Presidential Mansion on November 11. The new cabinet of 48, is broadly based on the previous PASOK government and includes six members from the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party and four from the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party.
From ND, its two vice presidents have joined the government: former EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas is the new Foreign Minister while Dimitris Avramopoulos has taken up the post of Defence Minister.
"We have a difficult period ahead of us to carry out a difficult task and the contribution of all is necessary," the new Prime Minister said, addressing the first cabinet meeting, following the swearing-in ceremony.
He stressed that over the past two years a great effort has been made which resulted in deficit reduction but today a credit problem has appeared concerning the disbursement of the 6th tranche and restoring the country's credibility. Papademos further informed the members of the cabinet that he plans to establish a Government Committee in the coming days.
The Parliament is expected to hold a vote of confidence in new government on November 14, after a three-day debate which begins today with the Prime Minister Lucas Papademos's policy statement.
Government Vice President and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, speaking after Friday's cabinet meeting, outlined the new government's economic priorities: the timely disbursement of the 6th tranche of an EC/ECB/IMF bailout loan, amounting to € 8 billion, before December 15, the beginning of negotiations with the troika on the new programme and the new loan contract, the tabling in Parliament of the 2012 budget by November 21 and the completion, by early 2012, of the legal framework for the 50% "haircut" of the Greek debt which is in the hands of the private sector.
(Monday, November 14, 2011)
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