NEWS

European leaders say new gov’t needs to work together

European leaders welcomed on Thursday the appointment of former central banker Lucas Papademos as Greek prime minister but placed more emphasis on the need of the interim government to work together.

In a joint statement, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and the head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said that Athens must now focus on adopting and keeping to last month?s bailout agreement, which is likely to see Greece receive another 130 billion euros in loans and holders of Greek bonds accept a 50 percent haircut.

?Although this will be a transitional government, its workload will be extremely intense,? the pair said. ?A second program of financial assistance must be rapidly concluded? the voluntary bond exchange with private sector investors should take place as planned at the beginning of 2012.

?It is important for Greece?s new government to send a cross-party message of reassurance to its European partners that it is committed to doing what it takes to set its debt on a steady downward path.?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also focused on the need for the Greek government to cooperate rather than on Papademos?s credentials.

?We will work with every Greek leader who is appointed,? Merkel said during a news conference in Berlin. ?We would like Greece to get on the right path as quickly as possible and we would like the reform efforts for a better and more efficient and consolidated Greece to have broad political support.

?I wish everyone who is going to take on responsibilities in Greece the best, and Germany will do everything in its means for a good cooperation,? she added.

The United States also emphasized the need for consensus under Papademos?s leadership. ?We welcome his appointment. We look forward to working with the new prime minister,? said State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

?We also welcome the consensus that?s been reached in Greece on the need to implement the country?s reform commitments to the IMF as well as the European Union,? he said.