By Vittorio Hernandez

Athens, Greece

Senior banker Lucas Papademos was named to be the new prime minister of an interim Greek unity government that seeks to agree upon a new European debt deal and thwart national bankruptcy for the financially ailing country.

Papademos, 64, a former vice president of the European Central Bank, was chosen to lead a temporary government backed by both the governing Socialists and opposition conservatives that will operate until early elections, tentatively set for February.

Papademos was selected to replace Prime Minister George Papandreou, who was midway though his four-year term.

Stocks on the Athens' Stock Exchange applauded the news, jumping 1.6 percent following the announcement.

Global markets have been reeling, waiting for Greece to end its political deadlock so it can avoid imminent bankruptcy, which could potentially cause a ripple effect throughout Europe, bringing down other troubled countries such as Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Papademos, who is not a member of any party, has been operating as an adviser to the prime minister.

Papademos taught at Columbia University from 1975 to 1984. He also worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston before returning to Greece to become chief economist at the Bank of Greece from 1985-1993.

While Greece has been the center of focus for weeks in the ongoing euro zone sovereign debt crisis, Italy took away some of Greece's limelight this week as economic woes in the "Boot" have taken center stage.


World - Senior Banker Lucas Papademos Named New Greek Prime Minister | Global Viewpoint