Thursday, September 20, 2007

New Greek government sworn in after poll victory

Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and his new Conservative government have been sworn into office, after a narrow election victory. Religious leaders were central to the ceremony - emphasizing the Orthodox Church's influence in Greece where its authority is recognized by the constitution.

While the premier has brought in some new blood, he has retained many ministers from his previous administration, signalling his determination to press ahead with reforms. Karamanlis had asked for a strong new mandate to pursue policies such as shoring up Greece's ailing pension system and planned privatisations.

However deadly forest fires and a series of scandals eroded his party's support in Sunday's early election and the Conservatives won only a slim majority in parliament. That could complicate efforts to get some of the key reforms through.


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