Recently named Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is said to be working around the clock to avert Greek default on their sovereign debt obligations. Like recently minted Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, Lucas Papademos is a technocrat, heading Greece’s first coalition government in recent memory. Necessary austerity legislation is still wildly unpopular with the Greek electorate and Papademos is seen as having a more than difficult task ahead of him if he is to avert default. The Greek rescue loans from the IMF and the EU have been predicated on the passage of necessary austerity measures without which the funds will not be disbursed to Greece. Papademos’ three party coalition faces a confidence vote in the Greek parliament on Monday and he will present his program there.
Lucas Papademos, born in Athens 1947, is a prominent Greek economist who has previously served as the Governor of the Bank of Greece from 1994 to 2002 and as Vice President of the European Central Bank from 2002 until 2010. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970 with a degree in physics, in 1972 with a masters degree in electrical engineering and a doctorate in economics in 1978, Papademos’ academic credentials cannot be denied. Before assuming the prime ministership, Papademos reportedly demanded that the coalition government be a long serving one and that members of both parties, Panhellenic Socialism (PASOK) and New Democracy, had to participate. This was originally a sticking point prior to Papandreou’s departure as New Democracy member Antonis Samaras expressed derision for a coalition government and instead agitated for new elections. It is hoped that Papademos’ economic acumen combined with his coalition partners can set the course for a viable Greek state in the future. Indeed, as to whether Greece will be insolvent depends upon it.