Economist Papademos frontrunner for Greek PM
He is considered a technocrat, not a party man, which is why both sides will probably settle on the world renowned economist for prime minister to replace George Papandreou who has promised to resign once a sucessor is chosen.
Lucas Papademos, a former deputy head of the European Central Bank, was on Monday tipped to emerge as Greek prime minister as political leaders bargained over who will lead a new coalition to push through a bailout before the country runs out of money in mid-December.
But whoever leads the transitional government of national unity will have a monumental task in restoring order to a country whose chaotic economy and politics are shaking international confidence in the entire euro project.
With the European Union demanding a quick resolution to the political crisis, Prime Minister George Papandreou sealed a deal on Sunday with the conservative opposition on the crisis coalition to approve the international financial aid package.
Papandreou informed European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, by phone on Monday about efforts to form the coalition, his office said.
The Greek leaders' job on Monday was to agree a new prime minister, possibly a technocrat who must exert authority over hardened party chiefs from the center-left and center-right, and made decisions which will affect Greeks for a decade.
Greece is far from being out of the woods. The draconian austerity measures (that I detail in my FrontPage.com article today) will cause the economy to contract even further, thus adding to the nation's deficit woes. What European leaders are hoping is that the Greek economy revives before the money runs out - by no means a sure thing.
Meanwhile, Berlusconi in Italy is on the edge of the cliff, waiting to see whether he has to jump or not. He, too, like Papandreou, may be at the end. This is a sure sign that the crisis in Europe is not being managed -- it is almost out of control and Italy's troubles are proof of that.