Last Updated: Thu Nov 10, 2011 16:36 pm (KSA) 13:36 pm (GMT)

Ex-ECB deputy Papademos named Greek PM: Presidency

Lucas Papademos, vice president of the European Central Bank, has been named the new prime minister of Greece. (Reuters)
Lucas Papademos, vice president of the European Central Bank, has been named the new prime minister of Greece. (Reuters)

Greek President Carolos Papoulias on Thursday asked former European Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos to form a new government, the head of state’s office said.

“The president has given Mr. Papademos the mandate to form a government,” the office said in a statement, adding then that the new government would be sworn in at 1200 GMT on Friday.

Papademos, 64, enjoys high international regard for his financial expertise and is seen by many as the right man to steer Greece out of its worst post-war economic crisis.

The Greek stock market jumped sharply when Papademos arrived at the presidential palace to begin talks with the head of state and political leaders.

His appointment was held up for four days amid political squabbling and over demands he reportedly made about holding elections later than the February date penciled in.

The presidential statement made no mention of a snap ballot date.

The new government must quickly ratify a critical EU bailout deal to unlock loans that will save Greece from bankruptcy next month.

“It was agreed that the task of the new government is to ratify the decisions of the EU summit on October 26 and the application of economic policies linked to these decisions,” said the presidential statement, referring to the bailout deal.

Outgoing Prime Minister George Papandreou left the marathon talks with a broad smile but without speaking to waiting journalists.

The talks have taken place against a backdrop of intense international pressure as European leaders pressed for a quick deal to clear up the uncertainty, as Italy verges towards the eurozone abyss.

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