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The Latest: Euro ministers reject new Greek PM’s appeal

July 8, 2019
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Greece's newly-elected prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, waves as he walks shortly after his swearing-in ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Athens, Monday, July 8, 2019. Mitsotakis' New Democracy party won 39.8% of the vote, giving him 158 seats in the 300-member parliament, a comfortable governing majority. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Latest on Greece’s election of a new government (all times local):

11:20 p.m.

Greece’s bailout creditors have rejected a call by the country’s new government to ease strict budget targets that were agreed to after Athens received billions in rescue loans.

Eurogroup President Mario Centeno, who represents the finance ministers of countries that use the shared euro currency, said Monday of the large budget surpluses demanded of Athens to repay its debts: “Commitments are commitments.”

Eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday assessed Greece’s financial status and Centeno spoke hours after conservative leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis was sworn in as the country’s new prime minister.

Mitsotakis won a general election Sunday on a campaign pledge to cut taxes and negotiate better terms with creditors.

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7:45 p.m.

Greece’s new conservative prime minister has announced the members of his Cabinet less than a day after his party won a general election.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis named Christos Staikouras as finance minister hours after being sworn into office on Monday.

Staikouras served as deputy finance minister in a previous conservative government. He inherits the immediate challenge of meeting strict budget objectives set by Greece’s bailout creditors following warnings that the country’s public finances have slipped off target.

Mitsotakis appointed a veteran socialist as public order minister. Michalis Chrysohoidis held that job when Greek authorities dismantled an armed far-left extremist group in 2002.

Members of November 17 were wanted for multiple attacks and 23 killings

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4:45 p.m.

The finance minister of the Netherlands says Greece’s new conservative government will have little leeway to change the country’s economic reform and debt-reduction policies since they were adopted in agreement with other eurozone nations.

Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra refused to speculate Monday about what the government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis would do to fulfill campaign promises his victorious New Democracy party made to cut taxes.

Fellow eurozone nations previously committed Greece to strict reforms and austerity measures as a condition for financial assistance that allowed it to stay in the eurozone. The conditions have come under withering attack in Greece, where many people have experienced drastic declines in their standard of living.

Eurozone finance ministers are meeting on Monday, and Greece’s progress in getting out of its nearly decade-long financial crisis will be assessed.

Hoekstra said before the meeting that “clear long-term agreements were made about setting its budgetary house in order and push through reforms. It is based on a whole package, and I assume that will stay intact.”

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3:20 p.m.

The extreme right Golden Dawn party says it plans to request a nationwide ballot recount after it narrowly failed to reach the 3% threshold of votes required to enter parliament in Sunday’s general election.

In a statement, the party said it planned to take the legal action to challenge what it described as a “scandalous result.”

Golden Dawn received 2.93 % of the vote according to final results public Monday.

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1:40 p.m.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has congratulated Kyriakos Mitsotakis on his victory in Sunday’s Greek general election while cautioning that the highly indebted country still had a tough economic task ahead.

In a letter to the new prime minister, Juncker praised the Greek people for what they had to endure during its recent financial crisis which almost saw the country ejected from the euro currency area four years ago.

“A lot has been achieved,” Juncker said. “But a lot remains to be done.”

Juncker told Mitsotakis he had “full confidence in your personal capacity and the capacity of the Greek people to open a new, brighter chapter in the history of your country.”

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1:15 p.m.

Conservative party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has been sworn in as Greece’s new prime minister, a day after his resounding win over left-wing Alexis Tsipras, who led the country through the tumultuous final years of its international bailouts.

Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party won 39.8% of the vote, giving him 158 seats in the 300-member parliament, a comfortable governing majority. Tsipras’ Coalition of the Radical Left, or Syriza, garnered 31.5%.

Mitsotakis, 51, arrived at the presidential mansion for the official swearing-in ceremony accompanied by his wife and three children, with the ceremony conducted by Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos. He was to then head to the prime minister’s office for a handover of duties, and was expected to name his cabinet later in the day.

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10:30 a.m.

Conservative party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be sworn in as Greece’s new prime minister later Monday after a resounding win over left-wing Alexis Tsipras, who led the country through the tumultuous final years of its international bailouts.

Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party won 39.8% of the vote, giving him 158 seats in the 300-member parliament, a comfortable governing majority. Tsipras’ Coalition of the Radical Left, or Syriza, garnered 31.5%. The extremist right-wing Golden Dawn, Greece’s third largest party during the height of the financial crisis, failed to make the 3% threshold to enter parliament.

Mitsotakis will have to move fast to deal with the myriad of problems still plaguing the Greek economy. Europe’s finance ministers are meeting in Brussels on Monday and will be discussing Greece, which still has stringent fiscal targets to meet.

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