Athens: The Greek caretaker government, which will lead the country to the second round of national polls in June, was sworn in on Thursday morning at a ceremony held at the Presidential mansion in Athens.
Headed by Panayiotis Pikrammenos, top judge of the Greek Supreme Administrative Court until his appointment to the post on Wednesday, it is tasked to "preserve order and calm in difficult times for Greece”, the new Premier stressed in talks with President Karolos Papoulias.
The debt-ridden country will go to the ballots again most likely on June 17, according to local media reports, as a formal announcement on the date is still due.
The appointment of a caretaker administration, according to the Constitution, follows the failure of leaders of parties which entered the fragmented new Parliament of the May 06 Parliamentary Elections, to reach an agreement of the formation of a coalition government over conflicting views on economic policies.
The uncertainty over whether Greece will stick to the austerity and reform pledges undertaken under bailout deals with international lenders since 2010, has increased anxiety that the country could eventually sink in a disorderly bankruptcy and exit the euro, rocking the international financial system.
The key post of Finance Minister over the next few weeks will be held by Economics Professor Yorgos Zannias, outgoing Head of the Council of Economic Advisors at the ministry, a press statement issued from the Premier's office said.
Yannis Stournaras, director of the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research until Thursday, was sworn in as Development, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister.
The new Foreign Affairs Minister is Petros Molyviatis who has served at the post in the past (2004-2006), while former chief of Greek General Staff of Land Forces, Lieutenant General Frangos Frangoulis was named Defence Minister.
Professor of Constitutional Law Manitakis takes over as Interior Minister, and former head of Greek Police Lefteris Economou will hold the portfolio of the Citizen's Protection Minister, in charge of public order.
Academic Christos Yeraris, former senior judge, will take the helm of the Justice Ministry, and Photographer and television programs producer Tatiana Karapanagioti is the new Culture and Tourism Minister.
Following the sworn in ceremony of the new government that succeeds the six-month interim coalition administration of technocrat Lucas Papademos, the new Parliament convened. The 300-member Assembly is due to be dissolved shortly, opening the way for the new elections.
But as opinion polls have shown that the new Parliament to emerge from the second elections will most probably be equally divided amongst pro-reform and anti-bailout forces, local and foreign officials, and analysts express fears over the country's economic future.
First Published: Thursday, May 17, 2012, 16:23