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Down to business as Greek government sworn in

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Down to business as Greek government sworn in

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Greece’s new socialist government has been sworn-in in a solemn ceremony in Athens.

Prime Minister George Papandreou’s appointments to key cabinet posts have struck the right note with analysts. His pared-down administration has been welcomed as the right blend of expertise and experience to tackle the challenges facing the country. The list includes senior members of his PASOK party and fresh names with international experience. He has also overhauled the structure of the cabinet, splitting the finance and economy jobs but joining the environment and energy portfolios into one. Observers say it is a clear signal that fighting the economic crisis is the government’s top priority, something Papandreou highlighted on the campaign trail. The economy ministry has gone to one of his long-time advisors Louka Katseli, while George Papaconstantinou, a younger generation economist, has been given the finance portfolio. Both are seen by markets as capable hands. One of their first challenges will be to convince Brussels to give Greece more time to bring its budget deficit in line with EU rules.