Greece’s rival politicians face challenges as coalition is formed

City A.M. Reporter
THE conservative-led government that took power in Greece is promising to negotiate softer terms on its harsh international bailout and steer the country through its biggest crisis for four decades.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, a Harvard-educated economist, will head an alliance of his New Democracy party and Socialist Pasok rivals – the same discredited establishment parties which have dominated politics since 1974.

New Democracy and Pasok have little history of cooperation, having alternated in office from the fall of military rule in 1974 until last year, when the economic crisis forced them to share power in a short-lived national unity government.

The coalition will be the first in Greece in decades with an unrestricted mandate – last year’s government and a coalition that took power in 1989 both had limited powers.