Interim Greek cabinet sworn in ahead of fresh elections | News | DW | 17.05.2012
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Interim Greek cabinet sworn in ahead of fresh elections

A caretaker Greek cabinet has been sworn in in Athens, comprising diplomats, retired military officers, and university professors, with a limited mandate until fresh elections on June 17.

Among the newly inaugurated ministers are George Zannias, the former head of the state's council of economic advisors, as finance minister, and 83-year-old retired diplomat Petros Molyviatis as foreign minister. The former head of Greece's army general staff, Frangos Frangoulis, has been named defense minister.

On Wednesday, Panagiotis Pikrammenos was sworn in as the caretaker prime minister after elections on May 6 and subsequent negotiations between Greek political parties failed to produce a viable coalition government.

Talks collapse prompt fresh poll

Those protracted negotiations collapsed on Tuesday, nine days after the Greek election.

Greece's traditional political powerhouses, the conservative New Democracy party and the Socialist PASOK bloc, suffered massive losses in voters support on May 6.

These two groups broadly supported the terms of Greece's bailout deal reached with the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) early this year, while the remaining parties - who made massive gains due to voter dissatisfaction - want either to renegotiate the deal or to scrap it.

Neither of these broad sets of parties had sufficient support to form a functioning coalition.

Recent surveys suggest that the radical left-wing Syriza bloc, which was second-placed on May 6 and opposes the terms of the nternational bailout, might improve its vote in a second election and become the strongest party.

Members of parliament who were elected on May 6 were also sworn in on Thursday, but they will only serve for one day before parliament is dissolved again to make way for the fresh election.

mz/ipj (AFP, AP)

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