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).
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid