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Greek prime minister set to roll up his sleeves

The newly elected Socialist government of Prime Minister George Papandreou in Greece has won the support of parliament. Now the work can begin on overhauling Greece's economy and the national budget.

George Papandreou

George Papandreou has his work cut out for him

Greece's newly elected Prime Minister George Papandreou has won the backing of parliament for his incoming government. In a vote of confidence early on Monday morning, the Greek parliament voted along party lines to approve the new government, with all 160 members of Papandreou's Socialist Party voting for, and 140 members of opposition parties voting against.

Papandreou came to power in a snap election earlier this month and now faces some tough challenges as Greece tackles its first recession in 16 years. He must also address the highest debt in the country's history and a budgetary deficit around 10 percent of the country's gross domestic product, well over the three percent euro-zone limit.

The incoming prime minster has pledged to fix Greece's economy - which he described as "explosive" - as well as the "state of emergency" in the country's finances.

"We have large hidden debts and spending, an unprecedented lack of competitiveness and social insurance funds in a state of penury," Papandreou told parliament.

Renewable energy, increased education spending, and a crack down on tax evasion are also on the new government's agenda, Papandreou said.

Editor: Chuck Penfold

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