Papademos to set out key policy goals

Greece?s new interim prime minister, Lucas Papademos, is to set out his government?s policy platform on Monday evening, as he and his administration look to hit the ground running after two weeks of political turmoil.

Papademos is to present his administration?s main policy goals during a speech in Parliament at 7 p.m. on Monday, launching a debate that is to culminate in a confidence vote on Wednesday.

Papademos has already indicated that his government?s chief aim is to implement the decisions of the October 26 European Union summit where the latest debt deal for Greece was hammered out.

This involves pushing through austerity measures that Greece has committed to, such as public sector layoffs. Another goal is to complete talks with the troika on a revised program of ?economic adjustment.? In addition, the government will have to pass the 2012 budget by the end of the year.

Sources said that Papademos may head to Brussels later this week for talks with EU officials. Possible meetings with German chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are also on the cards. Papademos held a teleconference with the two leaders on Saturday.

An opinion poll for Sunday?s Kathimerini found that a total of 55 percent of Greeks welcomed Papademos?s appointment while 18 percent had a negative view, according to the poll carried out by Public Issue.

The survey also found that more than 70 percent of those questioned applauded the decision of the two main parties — socialist PASOK and conservative New Democracy — to move toward the formation of a unity government.

The survey also asked respondents what they believed the country?s biggest problems were. Six in 10 (58 percent) said the economy, 34 percent cited rising unemployment, while 29 percent saw Greek politicians and the political system as the country?s biggest burden.