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New Greek PM's monumental mission

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New Greek PM's monumental mission

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The new Greek Prime Minister may have the most difficult job in politics.

By agreement of the two main parties Lucas Papademos is the man charged with rolling out painful austerity measures aimed at rescuing Greece from bankruptcy, and satisfying a very nervous EU which fears contagion within the euro zone.

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, European Commission spokeswoman, said: “It’s very important that we will now have a cross party unity government in Greece, as an expression of the consensus which we have called for for a long time, necessary to implement the very difficult but necessary measures that Greece needs to undertake to put the country on a sustainable path.”

But Papademos cannot do it alone. He needs some help and talks on just who does what have broken down, even though the new cabinet is due to be sworn in at midday on Friday.

Evangelos Venizelos is likely to remain as finance minister but uncertainty remains where clarity is needed to restore market confidence.

Deep cuts, tax hikes and belt-tightening all point to a tough time ahead for Greece with a fourth year of recession unavoidable. All that against a backdrop of militant protest and willingness of workers to strike, the new PM’s task is starting to look monumental.