The former vice president of the European Central Bank, Lucas Papademos, was named the interim prime minister of Greece on Thursday.
The decision wasn’t without drama. Papademos was chosen after four days of feuding and strained negotiations between the nation’s political parties. The political fighting has wearied the European Union, as well as other Greeks and members of the international community. Some Greeks, including the wealthy, have withdrawn their money from Greek banks, and moved their funds into overseas bank accounts as they watched the tension grow between the political parties.
The country is still facing a major debt crisis, but Papademos is optimistic and believes this and other problems can be solved with unity. Greece has struggled to stay out of bankruptcy, and is intent on keeping its membership as part of the 17-nation eurozone.
Papademos urged both the socialist and conservative parties of Greece to back the 130 billion euro ($176 billion) bailout package. Failing to come to an agreement and accept the package would be detrimental to Greece’s already fragile state. Greece will default next month if it does not accept the money.
Papedemos was educated in the US. He received a degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master’s in electrical engineering, and a doctorate in economics. He succeeds George Papandreou as prime minister.