Friday, February 17, 2012

Lucas Papademos

Lucas Papademos (Greek: Λουκάς Παπαδήμος, Greek pronunciation: [luˈkas papaˈðimos], Loukas Papadimos; born 11 October 1947) is a Greek economist who was appointed as Prime Minister of Greece on 11 November 2011.

Previously, he was Governor of the Bank of Greece from 1994 to 2002 and Vice President of the European Central Bank from 2002 to 2010. He was also a visiting professor of public policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Financial Studies at the University of Frankfurt.

Papademos was proposed for the position of Prime Minister of Greece on 10 November 2011, after the head of the governing party, George Papandreou, decided to step down, and allow a provisional coalition government to form with the task of taking Greece out of the major political crisis caused by the country's debt crisis.

Lucas Papademos set two conditions in order to accept being the prime minister of an interim government. First, that the new government would not have a very restricted life span as the New Democracy party had demanded and secondly, that political figures from both main political parties, PASOK and New Democracy, would participate, which was also vetoed by New Democracy. Eventually New Democracy accepted Papademos' demands, and the new cabinet includes Ministers from PASOK, New Democracy and the far right Popular Orthodox Rally.

After a week of political turmoil, the new coalition cabinet and Prime Minister Lucas Papademos were formally sworn in on 11 November 2011.The new government is a coalition between three of five parliamentary parties, PASOK, New Democracy and the Popular Orthodox Rally. The remaining two parliamentary parties, the Communist Party and the Coalition of the Radical Left Party, had refused Papandreou's invitation to join talks on a new unity government. It is the first time that the far right has joined a Greek government since the fall of the military junta in 1974.

The coalition government's main task is to allow the EU bailout to proceed and eventually to pave the way for elections, temporarily set for February 2012. Papademos, who is not an elected PM, has said his priority will be to keep Greece in the eurozone.

In January 2012, Papademos warned that workers would have to accept cuts in income for a default to be avoided. He told business and labor leaders that the "troika" — the European Union, the I.M.F. and the European Central Bank — was looking for Greece to take steps to open up so-called closed professions, as well as adjustments to the minimum wage, abolition of Christmas and summer vacation bonuses and automatic wage increases

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