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Greek Ex-European Banker Papademos Appointed Prime Minister

Former European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos was picked to head a caretaker Greek government as it battles the threat of debt default.
Former European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos has officially been named Greece's new prime minister, replacing outgoing Socialist premier George Papandreou.

The decision comes after four days of intense negotiations between Greece's political leaders as the country is getting dangerously close to bankruptcy.

He should be sworn in on November 11.

The interim coalition cabinet led by the 64-year-old former banker will have to implement a bailout deal agreed with Greece's international lenders.

In a quick introductory statement to reporters, Papademos vowed to "work together" to achieve national goals, and said "no conditions" had been imposed on the new prime minister.

Papademos also said he was convinced that Greece's membership in the eurozone is a guarantee for monetary stability.

In a related development, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today in Berlin that her government's top priority is "stabilization of the eurozone in its current form."

Papademos is a former Greek central bank governor who played a role in Greece's introduction of the euro to replace the national currency, the drachma.

The sometimes acrimonious talks among leading Greek parties were mediated by President Carolos Papoulias.

Without the emergency rescue funds, Greece risks running out of money within weeks and may also have to leave the eurozone.

But the 130 billion-euro bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund involves tough austerity measures opposed by many Greeks.

compiled from agency reports

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