Greeks get new government
Seven weeks of political uncertainty in debt-crippled Greece, that threatened to plunge Europe deeper into a financial crisis with global repercussions, came to an end on Wednesday after Greek political parties agreed to form a coalition government.
Antonis Samaras (pictured), the head of the conservative New Democracy party that came first in Sunday’s election, was sworn in as prime minister after an agreement with two minority partners that support Greece’s bailout commitments.
Despite receiving nearly 30 per cent of the vote, the conservatives lacked enough seats to govern alone and had to seek partners that would also broadly back Greece’s pledges to bailout creditors for further austerity and reforms.
“Greece has a government,” Evangelos Venizelos, leader of the PASOK party and a former finance minister, said after talks with Samaras.
Over the past two and a half years, Greeks have suffered repeated income cuts, tax hikes and deteriorating public services amid a deep recession and galloping unemployment.