Greece

Lucas Papademos to head new Greek government

Former European Central Bank (ECB) VP Lucas Papademos is to head Greece’s new government. He replaces outgoing president George Papandreou, and faces the difficult task of steering Greece through the difficult weeks ahead as the country battles to settle its immediate future within (or possibly outside) the eurozone.

The three main Greek political parties have been locked in discussions this week over the choice of who should be the new president. A deal was reportedly close for parliamentary speaker Filippos Petsalnikos to get the job, only for the Laos party to reportedly disagree. Now Lucas Papademos has been given the role, reportedly after negotiating an extension to the term of office being offered.

The new Greek government has to push through austerity measures that are proving unpopular with the general population. In return, Greece will receive a bailout of 130bn euros (£111bn; $178bn) and will its debt held by private lenders will be halved. If the austerity measures are not passed, it is almost certain that Greece would be forced out of the eurozone, an eventuality that could still come to pass.

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