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New Greek PM sworn in... and here's what Sarkozy thought of the last one

Nicolas Sarkozy was caught on mic making some not-so-flattering comments about outgoing PM George Papandreou.

Outgoing PM Papandreou leaving the presidential palace yesterday
Outgoing PM Papandreou leaving the presidential palace yesterday
Image: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP/Press Association Images

THE NEW PRIME minister of Greece Lucas Papademos will be sworn in today at the head of a power-sharing government after marathon talks between the country’s rival parties.

The former vice-president of the ECB was named yesterday as the leader of a new unity government, formed after George Papandreou stepped down last weekend.

He will be sworn in at noon Irish time, and faces a struggle to convince European and international markets that Greece is not headed for financial meltdown.

“The Greek economy is facing huge problems despite the enormous efforts made [...] Greece is at a crucial crossroads,” Papademos said after his appointment yesterday, according to AFP. “The course will not be easy”, he added.

Former PM George Papandreou was forced out amid a storm of controversy when he announced plans to hold a referendum on the country’s second multi-billion-euro EU bailout.

It’s now emerged that French president Nicolas Sarkozy branded Papandreou “a madman” in a private aside to Barack Obama that was accidentally caught on mic at the G20 summit. He also said that Papandreou had announced the plan because he was a “depressive”.

According to RFI, Sarkozy told Obama: “This madman Papandreou comes up with his referendum. It’s because he’s a depressive, there’s no point in beating him up about it. He’s already on the floor. Knockout.”

The gaffe came in the same exchange that saw Sarkozy call Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu “a liar”.

Read more: Lucas Papademos named as Greece’s new prime minister>

Ms Piggy and Yo Blair: 5 of the best open-mic political gaffes>

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Michael Freeman

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