President karolos papoulias gave the 61-year-old the mandate to form a government. Immediately after, samaras was sworn in as prime minister of the country. Papoulias wished him success: "the problems that lie ahead are many, and they are very difficult"."
The federal government does not want to decide how to deal with greece until after a new troika report has been issued. A first meeting of german chancellor angela merkel (CDU) and the new greek head of government could take place in gdansk: at least the chancellor will sit on the tribune at the german european championship quarterfinal match against greece on friday evening, as announced by deputy government spokesman georg streiter in berlin.
Merkel congratulated samaras by telephone on wednesday afternoon and immediately invited the new greek head of government to berlin. It hopes "for good cooperation," as government spokesman steffen seibert explained. After sunday’s parliamentary elections, merkel rejected calls to ease austerity measures for greece.
The agreement on a coalition government in greece was first announced on wednesday by the smaller parties in the future government alliance. "The government is in place," said socialist leader evangelos venizelos. The leader of the democratic left, fotis kouvelis, said: "by tonight, I believe, we will conclude the coalition agreement."
After signing the coalition agreement, the new cabinet is to be presented on thursday. It will probably be made up of conservative politicians as well as technocrats who have the trust of the two smaller coalition partners. Venizelos of the socialists (pasok) and kouvelis of the democratic left (dimar) want to actively support the government but will not send any party members to the cabinet.
The first person to be named was top banker vasilios rapanos as the future finance minister. This was reported by the news agency dpa from circles of the conservative party nea dimokratia (ND). The head of greece’s largest private bank, national bank of greece, is expected to represent greece at the eurogroup meeting as early as this thursday.
For greece, after the second parliamentary elections in six weeks, it was high time for a government to be formed. The country, threatened by national bankruptcy, urgently needs money. The coffers are empty, and the little money will only last until mid-july. The eurogroup meets this thursday in luxembourg. At the meeting greece will be represented by the current interim finance minister giorgos zanias, venizelos announced.
The first major test of the government’s strength will come at the EU summit at the end of june, venizelos said. "We have to deal with this agony of unemployment," he said on television on wednesday.
The future coalition parties are in favor of reforms and vehemently advocate greece’s remaining in the euro zone. However, they want to convince the international lenders to extend the agreed savings requirements by two years. Venizelos had mentioned the target date of 2017 in the election campaign for a deadline extension.
The federal government will only decide on its further course of action in the crisis in greece after a new report by the troika of the european union (eu), the international monetary fund (imf) and the european central bank (ecb). "This political question can only be answered once the facts are known at all," said deputy government spokesman streiter on wednesday.
FDP faction leader rainer bruderle said on deutschlandfunk radio that the timetable for the greek savings targets can only be talked about in months, not in years as the greeks had hoped. "For me it is absolutely clear that the reform processes must go on, the agreements must be kept," he said. "At most, one can talk about the timing and the implementation of individual steps."
Union faction leader volker kauder, on the other hand, expressly rejected an extension of the timetable for the stricken country. "All i can say is: time can mean a lot of money in the case of greece," he told "spiegel online" on wednesday. That’s why he couldn’t imagine there would be any changes to the timetable. "The federal government and the coalition should not send out signals that the austerity resolutions are being tinkered with."