Crisis Greek cabinet takes over to avert bankruptcy | world | Hindustan Times
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Crisis Greek cabinet takes over to avert bankruptcy

world Updated: Nov 11, 2011 20:20 IST

Greece's new unity government under interim Prime Minister Lucas Papademos was sworn in on Friday to ratify a crucial EU bailout deal and pull the country back from the brink of bankruptcy.

Finance minister Evangelos Venizelos kept his post in the incoming team which includes a former EU commissioner and several far-right lawmakers, a first since 1974.

Ex-EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas takes over the foreign ministry under a power-sharing deal between the socialist Pasok party, the conservative New Democracy and the nationalist Laos party.

Thirteen members of the outgoing socialist administration retained their posts, while the conservatives were also given the defence ministry, which will be run by former Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos.

The nationalists received the infrastructure ministry and three junior ministry positions.

The new government's first job will be to persuade the European Union and International Monetary Fund to disburse an eight-billion-euro slice of aid from a 2010 bailout deal that is needed by December 15 before state coffers run dry.

Then it must force through painful austerity measures exacted as the price for a second EU rescue package which gives Athens 100 billion euros in loans, the same amount in debt reduction and a further 30 billion in guarantees.

Also tasked with holding early elections as soon as the EU deal is ratified by parliament, the new administration can count on the support of 254 deputies in the 300-seat parliament.