On Wednesday, Antonis Samaras was officially sworn in as the new prime minister of Greece, ending weeks of political uncertainty after the nation's first round of elections failed on May 6. Later that same day, it was announced that Samaras' New Democracy party had agreed to form a coalition government with the PASOK party and the Democratic Left party, as reported by Spiegel International and other media outlets.
The coalition government is a mirror of the one that was in power earlier this year in Greece. At the time of the most recent bailout agreement in February, the PASOK party was the head of the nation's coalition government, with leader George Papandreou at the helm as prime minister.
Here are some of the key details to emerge from Greek politics on Wednesday.
* Samaras took the oath of office during a religious ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Athens, after meeting with President Karolos Papoulias.
* After he was sworn in, Samara said that he was "asking for patriotic and solid national unity and confidence from the Greek people," according to Euronews.
* Samaras' New Democracy party won a narrow victory in a second round of elections held this past Sunday. The first round of elections, held on May 6, had failed to produce a coalition government.
* The coalition government that is to be led by New Democracy is the nation's first elected government in 223 days, according to CNN. Members will be sworn in on Thursday.
* Just prior to being sworn in, Samaras reportedly met with the other two leaders of the newly-formed coalition government, PASOK's Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left's Fotis Kouvelis.
* New Democracy edged out its victory over anti-austerity advocates SYRIZA, whose leader, Alexis Tsipras, had vowed to heavily renegotiate the nation's bailout agreement with the European Union and International Monetary Fund, and had promised to discard some portions entirely.
* New Democracy has said that they intend to honor the terms of the nation's bailout agreement, but are seeking to renegotiate small portions of it. Some European officials have already indicated that they are willing to consider doing so, particularly in regards to the deadlines that were originally stipulated for some aspects of the agreement, as reported by Reuters.
* Ekathimerini reported on Wednesday that due to the country's ongoing recession, chief among the nation's requests was likely to be a renegotiated deadline of 2016 to meet a stipulation requiring that the nation's deficit falls to below 3 percent of its GDP. That will likely mean an additional loan from the eurozone and the IMF, of between 16 and 20 billion euros.
Vanessa Evans is a musician, traveler, and freelance writer with an interest in European studies and events.
- Politics & Government
- Antonis Samaras
- coalition government