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March 22, 2023

Greece’s interim Cabinet sworn in as fears swirl of euro exit

Cabinet ministers in Greece’s interim government were sworn in Thursday, as the country grapples with a political and economic crisis that could have effects far beyond its borders, CNN informs.Greek voters punished the major parties at the polls earlier this month for the harsh budget cuts imposed by the country’s international lenders.The election left no party able to form a government, creating deep uncertainty about Greece’s ability to continue to meet the terms of its bailout package and therefore its debt obligations. Greece will hold new elections on June 17, state media reported Wednesday. A caretaker administration led by a senior judge will run the country in the meantime.News of the election date came as Greeks pulled hundreds of millions of euros out of the banking system amid fears that the country will not be able to stay in the European Union’s single currency. Some of the parties that have fared well in the recent elections reject the current terms of Greece’s deal with international creditors.Interim Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos was sworn in Wednesday. The political deadlock is leading to concerns that Greece will not have a functioning government in place when it needs to make critical debt payments next month, which could in turn jeopardize its place in the eurozone, the group of 17 European Union countries that use the euro currency.Opinion polls suggest Syriza, a leftist bloc opposed to the cuts, will win the biggest share of the seats in the next parliament, BBC reports. The 16-strong new cabinet includes: Giorgios Zannias, former head of the state’s council of economic advisers and a key debt negotiator, as finance minister; Petros Molyviatis as foreign minister, a post he held before from 2004-06; Frangos Frangoulis, former head of the army general staff, as defence minister; Antonios Manitakis, a professor of constitutional law, as interior minister; Eleftherios Ekonomou, a former police chief, as minister for public order.The euro gained some ground against the U.S. dollar on Thursday but remained close to a four month low. European leaders were united Wednesday in saying they want to help Greece stay in the euro.

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