Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Manson: murder, mythology and mistaken identity

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Turkish adviser warns US forces may stay in Syria

Read more

THE DEBATE

Has Merkel still got it ?

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Paradisia, Björk & Robbie Williams

Read more

FOCUS

From ecological disaster to small miracle in Mauritania

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Ukraine's deputy PM on Kiev's EU ambitions, corruption and Russian influence

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

A journalist murdered: Europe's media freedom under threat

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Top psychiatrist: Trump's 'mental impairment' poses danger to world

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Hammond teases UK budget with homebuilding, driverless cars

Read more

Europe

New finance minister named in bid to reassure public and Socialists

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2011-06-18

Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou has named Evangelos Venizelos the new finance minister in order to pull Greece back from an economic abyss. His goal will be to reassure the public and convince Socialists to support new austerity plans.

Will he be up to the task? Evangelos Venizelos, age 54, was appointed finance minister on Friday and will face the challenge of managing the deep financial crisis Greece finds itself in.

Venizelos, a constitutional law professor and prolific author from Thessaloniki, started out in politics as a member of parliament for his native city. He has been defence minister since 2009; he will replace outgoing Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou as part of Prime Minister George Papandreou’s cabinet reshuffle.

Reaction to Greek debt crisis

Prior to being defence minister, Venizelos held various high-level posts in Socialist governments, such as government spokesperson, minister of justice, and minister for development. His economic and fiscal policy positions, however, remain largely unknown.

Venizelos was Papandreou’s rival in the race to lead PASOK, Greece’s socialist party, after the party’s second consecutive electoral defeat in 2007.

His nomination is intended to reassure both the public and politicians in the party that oppose new austerity measures. On Wednesday, Greece was gripped by its third general strike since the beginning of the year, as demonstrators took to the street to protest against the austerity measures. Venizelos’s predecessor, Papaconstantinou, oversaw the prior austerity plan, and will now become minister for the environment.

Papandreou is counting on his cabinet reshuffle to deliver him the parliamentary majority he will need to pass the next phase of 28-billion-euro austerity package. The adoption of the package is the condition set forth by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund for the next phase of the €110 billion international aid plan for Greece.

Date created : 2011-06-17

  • GREECE

    Sarkozy and Merkel urge rapid solution to Greek crisis

    Read more

  • GREECE

    Greece names new finance minister to lead debt reform

    Read more

  • GREECE

    Greek premier vows to stay on amid party revolt

    Read more

COMMENT(S)