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Europe
Profile: Lucas Papademos
Papademos has been a leading figure in European banking, but he now faces major challenges as Greece's new leader.
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2011 18:42
Papademos served as vice-president of the European Central Bank before being appointed as Greek PM [GETTY]

Lucas Papademos, the former vice-president of the European Central Bank, has been named as Greece's interim prime minister, tasked with tackling the country's debt crisis.

The 65-year-old economist, considered by some as a rather grey and uncharismatic figure in the colourful and chaotic world of Greek politics, has more than 30 years experience inside the banking sector, including eight years as head of Greece's central bank and nine at the ECB in Frankfurt.

Papademos attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned undergraduate and masters degrees before graduating with a doctorate in economics in 1978.

For around five years, he worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and then joined the Bank of Greece in 1985 as chief economist.

In 1994 Papademos became head of the national central bank and held the position until 2002, during which he played a key role in Greece's transition from the drachma to the euro single currency.

As central bank governor Papademos was widely condemned in the late 1990s for suggesting that Greece's stock market was a dangerous bubble.

That suggestion proved correct, and prompted some to accuse him of setting off the economic crisis when stocks began their sharp fall, such was the accuracy of his prediction.

In economist circles, however, Papademos became known as a cautious and quietly spoken professional, fighting rocketing inflation and seeking to impose monetary discipline in a country prone to economic troubles.

Steering clear of frontline politics, Papademos gathered support among Europe's leaders and with financial markets, becoming vice-president of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt in 2002; one of the highest international posts ever held by a Greek.

He stayed in that post until he resigned in 2010 to advise George Papandreou, the prime minister whose job he is taking, at least in the short term until elections early next year.

Experts say Papademos' job as Greece's prime minister will include both restoring the confidence of Greece's rescuers in Europe and persuading sceptics at home that another bailout is something the country cannot survive without.

Source:
Agencies
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