NEWS

New Cabinet to be sworn in at 4 p.m.

A ceremony to swear in Greece?s new Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, and his new cabinet, was put back two hours ? to 4 p.m. from 2 p.m. ? on Friday as discussions continued between officials of the three parties involved in the new coalition government about what should change in the cabinet and what should stay the same.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos was widely expected to be kept in his post as well as other key ministers from the outgoing Socialist PASOK while several members of center-right New Democracy and the rightwing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) were to assume ministry positions.

A number of key posts, where ministers will have to continue to meet strict targets agreed with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, were expected remain under the control of ministers of Socialist PASOK. Education Minister Anna Diamanotopoulou, Health Minister Andreas Loverdos and Development Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis had received telephone calls by 1 p.m. confirming that they would be keeping their positions, Skai television reported. Transport Minister Yiannis Ragousis, Agriculture Minister Costas Skandalidis and Environment and Energy Minister George Papaconstantinou were also expected to keep their posts

It was expected that ND would contribute Constantinos Arvanitopoulos, a close aide of ND leader Antonis Samaras, as Diamantopoulou?s Deputy. There were also media reports that prominent ND lawmakers Stavros Dimas and Dimitris Avramopoulos would assume the posts of Foreign and Defense Minister respectively. Two LAOS MPs, Makis Voridis and Adonis Georgiadis, were expected to assume ministry posts too.

The swearing-in ceremony will trigger the start of a debate in Parliament that is scheduled to conclude with a confidence vote in the new government on Sunday night.