Following a national vote this past Sunday, the new Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, was sworn in earlier today. Samaras belongs to the New Democracy party which narrowly won in the national elections to form a new government and decide whether Greece will stay in the Euro-zone or leave.
Samaras graduated from Harvard and studied additional economics in the U.S. as well. He was sworn in during a short candlelight ceremony at the presidential palace in Athens in front of Greek Orthodox clergy members.
Samaras had already began talks with other parties from the left and right to form a new government, which under Greek law, he must complete within three days of winning.
Samaras' New Democracy party, together with its traditional nemesis PASOK, is committed to upholding Greece's international bailout deals, albeit with modifications that Athens hopes to win from its European partners. Greece needs the emergency loans to keep on paying its bills, but two years of punishing austerity measures have led to a breathtaking economic contraction and to pleas from Greeks for relief.
The vote helped calm European leaders who feared the leftist group Syriza would win. Syriza had pledged to leave the Euro currency causing economist around the world to panic while finding a way to manage the departure which was assumed would trigger another global recession.
The new coalition has said it will try to renegotiate portions of the bailout package that it sees as unattainable and will likely frame it as "take it or leave it" to the rest of the Euro-zone countries that contributed to the bailout of Greece.