News / Europe

Greece Has Interim PM; Italy's Berlusconi Survives Vote

European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos listens during a economics conference in Vienna, Austria, May 14, 2009 (file photo).
European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos listens during a economics conference in Vienna, Austria, May 14, 2009 (file photo).

State-run Greek television is reporting that economist Lucas Papademos will be the country's interim prime minister as the debt-ridden country struggles to meet the demands of international creditors.

Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou, who is resigning as the country's leader, worked on an agreement Tuesday night with opposition leader Antonis Samaras on a power-sharing coalition government to serve until national elections early next year.

There was no official announcement on a new prime minister. The European Union demanded that top Greek officials sign a written commitment to carry out unpopular austerity measures as part of the debt-relief plan approved last month for Greece. Samaras balked at a written statement, saying that it was a matter of "national dignity," and that his verbal assent to the plan ought to be sufficient.

Europeon Debt to GDP Ratio


Papademos, a former vice president of the European Central Bank, is viewed as a technocrat, and a non-partisan personality who can carry out the austerity measures that the international creditors are demanding Greece impose in exchange for more financial aid.

Eyes on Italy

Prospective Greek PM Lucas Papademos Has Vast Experience as Economist
  • Papademos has degrees in physics, electrical engineering, economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S.

  • Papademos is said to be well-respected in European governmental circles, particularly in Germany and France, two biggest economic powers in 17-nation bloc that uses euro currency.
  • He has emphasized need for governments to take control of their own debts, something that is likely to endear him to northern European leaders who have grown weary about dealing with Greece's debt crisis.
  • At various times, Papademos has worked as senior economist at U.S. Federal Reserve Bank in Boston and served as a Governor of the Bank of Greece. From 2002 to 2010 he was vice president of European Central Bank. He has taught economics classes at Columbia University in New York and at the University of Athens.

  • As speculation mounted about him taking over as the Greek prime minister, he flew home from his current academic posting as visiting professor of public policy at Harvard University in U.S.

  • Harvard says he is scheduled to teach a class in upcoming academic term called "The Global Financial Crisis: Policy Responses and Challenges."

State-run Greek television is reporting that economist Lucas Papademos will be the country's interim prime minister as the debt-ridden country struggles to meet the demands of international creditors.


Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou, who is resigning as the country's leader, reached agreement Tuesday with opposition leader Antonis Samaras on a new coalition government to serve until national elections early next year.

Papademos, a former vice president of the European Central Bank, is viewed as a technocrat, and a non-partisan personality who can carry out the austerity measures that the international creditors are demanding Greece impose in exchange for more financial aid.

Eyes on Italy

The European debt crisis also took center stage in Rome, where Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi survived a key parliamentary vote Tuesday, but without a majority. In what amounted to a test on his continued rule, the Italian leader got 308 votes, while 321 abstained. Opposition lawmakers immediately called for his resignation.

Italy is faced with imposing spending cuts to control the country's $2.6 trillion debt. European leaders are worried that Italy, with Europe's third largest economy, could be the next country to need an international bailout, but that the size of the financial assistance could be too big for the European Union to handle.

In Greece, Papandreou demanded the resignations of his cabinet as he moved toward agreement on the coalition government.

Brussels sits tight

European finance ministers were waiting for the formation of a new government in Greece before deciding whether to hand the country another $11 billion segment of its 2010 bailout.

Papandreou is stepping down in favor of a short-term coalition government after abandoning his call a week ago for a referendum on the European Union debt-relief plan to help solve Greece's financial woes. In Washington, the White House on Monday said it welcomed the Greek consensus on creating a new government and urged that it quickly implement financial reforms.

The European debt crisis also took center stage in Rome, where Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi survived a key parliamentary vote Tuesday, but without a majority. In what amounted to a test on his continued rule, the Italian leader got 308 votes, while 321 abstained. Opposition lawmakers immediately called for his resignation.

Italy is faced with imposing spending cuts to control the country's $2.6 trillion debt. European leaders are worried that Italy, with Europe's third largest economy, could be the next country to need an international bailout, but that the size of the financial assistance could be too big for the European Union to handle.

Brussels sits tight


As Italy's financial fortunes weakened, its borrowing costs soared to record highs Tuesday. Interest rates on Italian bonds neared 7 percent, a threshold that forced Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek international bailouts in the last year and a half.

In Greece, Papandreou demanded the resignations of his cabinet as he moved toward agreement on the coalition government.

European finance ministers were waiting for the formation of a new government in Greece before deciding whether to hand the country another $11 billion segment of its 2010 bailout.  
Papandreou is stepping down in favor of a short-term coalition government after abandoning his call a week ago for a referendum on the European Union debt-relief plan to help solve Greece's financial woes. In Washington, the White House on Monday said it welcomed the Greek consensus on creating a new government and urged that it quickly implement financial reforms.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

State-run Greek television is reporting that economist Lucas Papademos will be the country's interim prime minister as the debt-ridden country struggles to meet the demands of international creditors.

Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou, who is resigning as the country's leader, reached agreement Tuesday with opposition leader Antonis Samaras on a new coalition government to serve until national elections early next year.

Papademos, a former vice president of the European Central Bank, is viewed as a technocrat, and a non-partisan personality who can carry out the austerity measures that the international creditors are demanding Greece impose in exchange for more financial aid.

Eyes on Italy

The European debt crisis also took center stage in Rome, where Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi survived a key parliamentary vote Tuesday, but without a majority. In what amounted to a test on his continued rule, the Italian leader got 308 votes, while 321 abstained. Opposition lawmakers immediately called for his resignation.

Italy is faced with imposing spending cuts to control the country's $2.6 trillion debt. European leaders are worried that Italy, with Europe's third largest economy, could be the next country to need an international bailout, but that the size of the financial assistance could be too big for the European Union to handle.

In Greece, Papandreou demanded the resignations of his cabinet as he moved toward agreement on the coalition government.

Brussels sits tight

European finance ministers were waiting for the formation of a new government in Greece before deciding whether to hand the country another $11 billion segment of its 2010 bailout.  

Papandreou is stepping down in favor of a short-term coalition government after abandoning his call a week ago for a referendum on the European Union debt-relief plan to help solve Greece's financial woes. In Washington, the White House on Monday said it welcomed the Greek consensus on creating a new government and urged that it quickly implement financial reforms.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs