ATHENS—Greece’s new government was sworn in Oct. 7 after the ruling conservative government was defeated by the Socialists in the elections held on Oct. 4.
Greek voters took a drastic turn at the recent elections by massively voting in favor of center-left party Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), breaking with the center-right New Democracy (ND) Party which had been in power since 2004.
The run up to the elections had been marked by a dissatisfaction with the government over economic downturn and corruption.
This is “widespread corruption that has assumed pandemic proportions,” said George Papandreou, PASOK leader, in a speech after the elections results were announced on Oct. 4.
On last Wednesday Papandreou's new government, consisting of nine women and 28 men, was sworn in. At the first cabinet meeting, the new prime minister outlined the new government’s ideology. “First the citizen, above everything the national interest, meritocracy, and transparency throughout the public,” he said.
While there are high expectations for Papandreou's new government, and many Greeks hope that his government will bring them change, many others are also skeptical about whether the new government will, in fact, be able to deliver on campaign promises.
Maria Christina, an employee in Greece's tourist industry, said, “As time passes, the actions will show if we should trust [Papandreou's] words or not. I couldn't trust the other party anymore because of all the series of corruption scandals that came to the surface during the years of his leading position.”
Tzokas George, a 21-year-old university student, said “I believe that he will do adequate things just on the surface for people not to be angry. I believe that he will not change many things. Because he is in the system, he will do whatever he is told to do.”
PASOK managed to obtain 43 percent of the votes at the election, 10 percent more than the ND.
Of the 9 million people entitled to vote, 70 percent (63 million) voted.