Greece to Name Next Prime Minister Tuesday - OfficialWorld | November 8, 2011, Tuesday // 07:43| views
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's announcement that he will resign and form a new government raised a new set of questions for the debt-ridden country. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Greece will announce on Tuesday its new prime minister, who will replace George Papandreou, a Greek government spokesman said Monday.
The new Greek coalition government is most likely going to be led by former Greek central banker and former vice president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Lucas Papademos, according to reports.
The other candidates tipped for the top job are Nikiforos Diamandouros, the European ombudsman, veteran diplomat Petros Molyviatis, who negotiated Greece's entry into the European Union, former European Commissioner Stavros Dimas, as well as Greece's current Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos.
The announcement by government spokesman Ilias Mosialos came hours after Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told reporters that the tense economic situation in Athens had changed dramatically over the weekend and that there was cause for optimism.
"After a difficult week we have now a new political situation, a new political frame in Greece," he said in Brussels, Belgium, where finance ministers to eurozone countries were meeting. "We have a new government of national unity and of national responsibility. This is the proof of our commitment and of our national capacity to implement the program and to reconstruct our country."
Meanwhile, in Brussels European finance ministers held a meeting. Euro Group President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters the EU finance ministers welcome the intention of Greece to form a national unity government, but demand that it implements the agreed austerity measures and keeps the common currency.
"We underlined the importance of sustained cross-party support for the program in Greece," said Juncker, who is also prime minister of Luxembourg, home to one of Europe's best-known banking centers.
"In this context we asked the new Greek authorities to send a letter, co-signed also by the leaders of the two main parties of the incoming coalition government, reaffirming their strong commitment," he said.
On Sunday, Greek President Karolos Papoulias announced that Papandreou would step down from his post as prime minister -- so long as a controversial 130 billion euro bailout deal cobbled together late last month is approved.
New elections will be held after the bailout is implemented, most likely on February 19, Venizelos said.
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