Wednesday Jun 20, 201203:31 PM GMT
Greek conservative leader Samaras sworn in as new premier
Antonis Samaras (L) meets with Greek President Carolos Papoulias at the presidential palace in central Athens, on June 20, 2012.
Antonis Samaras (L) meets with Greek President Carolos Papoulias at the presidential palace in central Athens, on June 20, 2012.
Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:10PM
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The leader of Greece's conservative New Democracy party Antonis Samaras has been sworn in as the debt-ridden country’s new prime minister.


“Tomorrow I will ask for the new government to be formed - [we will] work hard so we can give hope to our people,” Samaras told reporters on Wednesday at the presidential palace.

The development comes shortly after leader of socialist Pasok party Evangelos Venizelos announced that a deal has been clinched for a coalition government in Greece.

“Greece has a government,” Venizelos announced on Wednesday following three days of talks with Samaras whose party came first in Greece’s repeat parliamentary elections.

Venizelos added that the details of the three-party coalition government backed by the pro-euro Pasok, conservative New Democracy and the small radical Democratic Left party will be finalized later on Wednesday.

All the three parties have expressed support for Greece's commitments to international bailout creditors.

On Sunday, New Democracy narrowly won Greece’s parliamentary elections by securing 29.7 percent of the vote, the Greek Interior Ministry said.

The anti-bailout far left Syriza party garnered 26.9 percent of the ballots to come in second in the elections, the ministry noted.

Greece has been in recession for the past five years, with the economy having shrunk by 15 percent over the past three years, the longest-running slump in modern times.

The country is seeing bank deposits dwindle, and tax collection remains a problem. It is also unable to devalue its currency and has no industries other than tourism and export of agricultural products.

MR/JR/AZ


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