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Greek PM Antonis Samaras announces Cabinet

Last Updated: Friday, June 22, 2012 - 00:17

Zeenews Bureau

Athens: Newly elected Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday announced his new Cabinet.

National Bank of Greece chairman Vasilis Rapanos has been elected as the Finance Minister.

Pro-bailout, conservative New Democracy party leader, Antonis Samaras who was sworn in on Wednesday as prime minister of debt-crippled Greece, has pledged to work hard to give people tangible hope.

One of the first actions of the new government, according to local reports, will be to call the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) auditors back to Athens and request a two-year extension of the stability and growth program to ease the pressure on recession-hit Greeks.

The deal on the formation of a three-party coalition government ended two months of political uncertainty in Greece that had added to its severe economic woes.

Greece had to hold another election on June 17 as the first vote on May 06 turned out to be inconclusive.

In both electoral battles, Samaras and his coalition partners vowed to honour commitments made to the EU and IMF lenders in return for multi-billion euro aid rescue loans.

But the radical left-wing rival Syriza party was in favour of pulling Greece out of the commitments, under which Greeks have to painfully tighten the belt.

The new coalition partners, with a wide majority in the new 300-member Parliament, have promised to form a team to renegotiate the painful austerity terms in the bailout deals and keep Greece in the eurozone.

Outgoing caretaker Finance Minister George Zannias, who will attend Thursday`s eurozone finance ministers` meeting in Luxembourg, is expected to deliver this message to his EU counterparts.

National Bank of Greece chairman Vasilis Rapanos is tipped to succeed Zannias as finance minister as he joined the latter on Wednesday evening in meeting with the heads of the three coalition parties, namely Samaras, PASOK`s Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left`s Fotis Kouvelis, to discuss Greece`s stand at the EU gathering.

With Agency inputs

First Published: Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 13:18

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