Nov. 10 - Technocrat Lucas Papademos is to become prime minister of Greece, and will hopefully lead the country out of its economic mess. Kirsty Basset reports.
The wait is over - Greece has finally agreed on a new prime minister. After more than three days of deliberations, former European Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos has emerged as the man who will try to save the country from default. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) GREEK INTERIM PRIME MINISTER LUCAS PAPADEMOS SAYING: "The honour is great and the responsibility that I take on is greater. I am not a politician, but I have devoted the largest part of my professional life to the practice of economic policy in Greece and in Europe. The Greek economy continues to face huge problems, despite the huge efforts that have been made for fiscal consolidation and improvement of competition. Greece is at a critical crossroads." Papademos is respected by financial markets and in Europe - and is a choice also welcomed by Greeks. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) GREEK CITIZEN, LAIKAKI AGISTIS, SAYING: "It's great. He seems like a serious individual, reliable, and trustworthy." (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) GREEK CITIZEN WHO DID NOT WANT TO GIVE HIS NAME, SAYING: "He is good, very good, he knows very well what he has to do." And there's plenty to do. Papademos reportedly drove a hard bargain before agreeing to take on the top job - demanding both major parties support the 130 billion euro zone bailout package and its unpalatable austerity measures. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) GREEK INTERIM PRIME MINISTER LUCAS PAPADEMOS SAYING: "The road will not be easy. But I am convinced that the problems will be solved and they will be solved faster and with less cost and in a more effective way if there is unity, cooperation and coordination." The new coalition will be sworn in on Friday. The irony of his appointment is that he helped Greece make the transition from the drachma to the euro in the first place. Kirsty Basset, Reuters.