NEWS

Greece waits for Papademos to be named new PM

Skai TV and radio reported at 4 p.m. today that former Bank of Greece governor and ex-European Central Bank vice president Lucas Papademos will become the next Greek prime minister.

Papademos?s imminent appointment, which has since been reported by other media, has yet to be officially confirmed.

An emergency cabinet meeting finished shortly before 3 p.m. Current Prime Minister George Papandreou is said to have informed his ministers to have their resignations ready to speed up the process of forming a new government once its head has been agreed.

It has been reported that Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos stressed during the cabinet meeting that it was vital Greece had a new government tonight to help stabilize the markets after borrowing rates for Italy and Spain shot up.

Venizelos is also alleged to have informed the cabinet that eurozone finance ministers are expecting written commitments, signed by Papandreou, New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, Bank of Greece governor Giorgos Provopoulos, the new prime minister and the new finance minister, that Greece will abide by the terms of the second bailout agreed in Brussels on October 26.

Papademos was back in the frame after he reportedly spoke with Papandreou on the telephone earlier in the day.

He is thought to want to bring several of his choices into the cabinet, which could also include politicians from both PASOK and New Democracy. The conservatives have been reluctant to place their members on the cabinet as they do not want to be seen to be supporting the new set of austerity measures that is expected to accompany Greece?s next bailout.

Among the names being mentioned as likely appointments by Papademos is the head of the IOBE think-tank Yiannis Stournaras.

The process of appointing the next government will involve the current ministers resigning, Papandreou informing President Karolos Papoulias of the candidate for prime minister and Papoulias then announcing the formation of a new cabinet.