New Greek cabinet sworn in

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New Greek cabinet sworn in

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Greece’s new cabinet which includes key posts for the coalition government’s minority Socialist party has been sworn in. The reshuffle came after the year-old coalition narrowly avoided collapse following Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ abrupt order to close the public broadcaster ERT.

Coalition member Democratic Left quit the government last week. The two party government has a slender majority.

Evangelos Venizelos, leader of the Socialist Pasok party has been named deputy prime minister and foreign minister. He led negotiations with the country’s international creditors in 2011 when he held the brief for finance. New ministers were also appointed to the posts of transport and defence among others.

Surrounded by his new cabinet, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said: “Our immediate priority is to return to recovery ahead of time, to defeat unemployment, bring in new investment, avoid new measures and create jobs for young people.”

At his side was Yannis Stournaras who remains as finance minister, staying on to push through more austerity measures and wide-ranging economic reforms. Our correspondent Stamatis Giannisis in Athens says:

“Coalition partners Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and PASOK’s leader Evangelos Venizelos have pledged to go the full length of this government’s term that expires in June 2016. To achieve that they will have to put aside their own ideological and political differences as well as those of their joint cabinet ministers and party members. Should they fail, it will become very difficult to keep this fragile coalition together.”