Greece’s new Prime Minister Georges Papandreou has wasted no time naming his economy and finance ministers, as he faces a ballooning deficit and soaring youth unemployment. Papendreou’s socialist Pasok party won last Sunday’s election with a comfortable majority in parliament, ousting conservative prime minister Costas Karamanlis.
57-year old Louka Katseli comes in as economy minister.She served as economic adviser to Papandreou’s father, Andreas, when he was prime minister in the 1990s. The post of finance minister has been given to 49-year old Georges Papaconstantinou, a close adviser to the new prime minister. He has played a leading role in the new face of Pasok. One of the first challenges for the government is to draft next year’s budget by November. Greece’s deficit is estimated to be running at more than six percent. This is double the Euro zone’s limit of three percent. By splitting the ministry of national economy and finance in two, Papandreou has signalled that his government’s top priority is fighting the crisis.