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Papandreou Sworn In as Greek Prime Minister

Papandreou Sworn In as Greek Prime Minister
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Greek Socialist leader George Papandreou was sworn in as prime minister Tuesday and immediately created four new ministries to help tackle some of the country's biggest problems.

Mr. Papandreou took the oath of office in a brief ceremony in Athens presided over by President Karolos Papoulias and Greek Orthodox Church leader Archbishop Ieronymos.

The new prime minister signed an order creating four new government ministries - environment, energy and climate change, police and civil protection, and finance and infrastructure.

Mr. Papandreou's biggest challenge will be reviving Greece's faltering economy. He promised a $4.4-billion stimulus package that will increase taxes on the rich and help the poor.

The new agencies also will work to protect populations against another outbreak of deadly wildfires that plagued the country over the past two summers.

Mr. Papandreou also named his Cabinet Tuesday, appointing himself foreign minister - a job he held in the 1990s.

Mr. Papandreou's Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) won 160 of 300 seats in Sunday's parliamentary election. Outgoing Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis resigned as head of his conservative New Democracy Party after the defeat.

Mr. Karamanlis called for an election two years early. He said Greece needed a government with a clear mandate to deal with its floundering economy. His party also had been hurt by corruption scandals and charges the government mishandled last year's riot triggered by the fatal police shooting of an Athens teenager.

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