Newly appointed Prime Minister of Greece Lucas Papademos speaks to media outside the Presidential Palace in central Athens, Nov. 10, 2011. Lucas Papademos, a widely-respected economist and former European Central Bank (ECB) vice president, was appointed on Thursday as the prime minister in Greece`s new coalition government. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)
ATHENS, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Greece`s membership in the eurozone is a guarantee for its monetary stability, said newly appointed Greek Interim Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on Thursday.
"I am convinced that our country`s membership in the European common currency zone is a guarantee for monetary stability," stressed Papademos, former Vice President of the European Central Bank (ECB), in his first public statement as head of government.
"The honor is great, but the responsibility is enormous. Greek economy still faces big challenges, despite efforts undertaken so far. The way ahead will be difficult, but I am convinced problems will be solved with unity," said Papademos, who has been the financial advisor to outgoing socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou over the past year.
The top priority of the new interim government will be the implementation of the October 26 eurozone summit agreement, while EU president Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso asked the new government "to send a strong cross-party message of reassurance to its European partners that it is committed to doing what it takes to set its debt on a steady downward path."
The new government will be sworn in on Friday noon, according to the official statement issued by the office of the Greek President who hosted the consultations between Papandreou, main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras and Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) President George Karatzaferis.
An announcement on the members of the new interim coalition that was expected to include members of the three parties was due later on Thursday or Friday morning.
The new administrations will lead the country to early general elections. The official statement did not mention the time frame of the polls, but according to local media reports they were expected to be held in February.
The designation of Papademos puts an end to political turmoil that erupted in Greece last week over Papandreou`s plan to call a referendum on the October 26 pact that led to wide uncertainty in financial markets in Europe and beyond.