Papademos to lead Greek coalition

 
City A.M. Reporter
Former European Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos will head Greece's new crisis coalition, the president's office said on Thursday, ending suspense over who will try to save the country from default, bankruptcy and an exit from the euro zone.

The coalition will be sworn in at 1200 British time on Friday, a presidential official said after Papademos struck a deal on the national unity government with outgoing Prime Minister George Papandreou and the opposition leader.

"The Greek economy is facing huge problems despite the efforts undertaken," Papademos said as he emerged from the talks brokered by President Karolos Papoulias.

"The choices we make will be decisive for the Greek people. The path will not be easy but I am convinced the problems will be resolved faster and at a smaller cost if there is unity, understanding and prudence."

Papademos, a respected figure in European capitals and on financial markets, said the coalition had the specific task of implementing a 130-billion-euro (£111bn) bailout deal with the euro zone before calling an early election.

He cuts a grey and uncharismatic figure in the colourful and chaotic world of Greek politics, but also has a reputation for being calm at a time when the nation is clamouring for stability.