Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday announced his new cabinet, comprising mostly of MPs from his conservative New Democracy party, which became the biggest party in the parliamentary elections.
The smaller coalition partners, socialist PASOK and Democratic Left parties, preferred to have only one minister each in the 18 member cabinet.
PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos decided that none of the party MPs should take cabinet positions, apparently to disassociate with austerity measures.
Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said that Vassilis Rapanos, the chairman of the National Bank of Greece, is appointed to the key post of Finance Minister. The 65 year-old prominent banker has also been economics professor at Athens University.
Having experience serving in the economy ministry when Greece joined the euro in 2001, he is left with the uphill task of renegotiating the terms of an unpopular EU-IMF bailout.
Outgoing Finance Minister Giorgos Zanias would represent Greece at the Eurozone finance ministers' meeting, as Rapanos is not expected to be sworn in until Saturday.
New Democracy's deputy leader Dimitris Avramopoulos is Greece's new foreign minister, while Evripidis Stilianidis becomes the interior minister.
The government-formation completes within a day of the PASOK, Democratic Left parties agreeing to join a three-party coalition government led by the New Democracy, and Samaras swearing in as Prime Minister.
The conservative-socialist-leftist coalition will enjoy a strong parliamentary majority of 179 seats in the 300-member Parliament.
A new government assuming power in Greece was crucial for the debt-ridden country to get the next installment of bailout fund from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
The speedy formation of government is expected to ease the financial crisis in the country, and strengthen its shaky position in the Eurozone, which had been threatening the stability of the single currency.
by RTT Staff Writer
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