Now Reading:

Betting open on new Greek PM

world news

Betting open on new Greek PM


Greeks are still waiting to find out who will lead a national unity government.
The front-runner is the former deputy head of the European Central Bank Lucas Papademos. He used to run the Greek Central Bank and oversaw the introduction of the euro.  
Others are betting on Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos who has managed to persuade parliament to adopt tough austerity measures in recent months.
Socialist George Papandreou agreed to step down as Prime Minister after talks with the president and the leader of the conservative opposition, Antonis Samaras last night. But the two parties are so far apart, many question just how united a unity government will actually be.
Once formed, it will need to push a new bailout package through parliament fast, or it will run out of money by mid-December.
The EU and the IMF are maintaining pressure on Athens to put its house in order but the task remains monumental.
Greece’s politics and economy are seen as so chaotic they have shaken international confidence in the entire euro project.
The end of a political dynasty?
After two years as Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou leaves office following a turbulent couple of weeks that saw him taking flak from every direction.
Though he managed to win a crucial confidence vote on Friday, that was not enough to keep him in the top job.
It is a position filled by three generations of his family, including his father who served two separate terms as prime minister totalling 11 years, and his grandfather who held the post three times.
Papandreou had an international education, studying in the US, Canada, Sweden and the UK. He was sometimes ridiculed for mistakes he made when speaking Greek.
Scoring a decisive victory against conservative opponents in the 2009 general election, Papandreou became popular after promising a stimulus package, rather than his rivals’ austerity measures.
Unfortunately, he found himself leading a government that had no choice but to make rounds of harsh cuts as it dealt with the economic reality of the country’s massive deficit.
As the public protests and strikes increased, Papandreou’s position teetered on the brink when he proposed a referendum on a new bailout deal.
Nevertheless, his fall from power may not be too concerning for someone who said he never saw politics as a profession.

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

Next Article