Greece names Sachinidis as interim finance minister

ATHENS Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:27am EDT

Evangelos Venizelos (R) addresses reporters while Filippos Sachinidis looks on during a news conference in Athens December 12, 2011. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

Evangelos Venizelos (R) addresses reporters while Filippos Sachinidis looks on during a news conference in Athens December 12, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Yiorgos Karahalis

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ATHENS (Reuters) - Deputy Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis replaced Evangelos Venizelos in Greece's top finance job on Wednesday after Venizelos resigned to lead the Socialist Party at general elections.

With negotiations on the country's second EU/IMF bailout completed earlier this month, Sachinidis, 49, will serve as finance minister for a few weeks leading up to a parliamentary election in late April or early May.

He was appointed to the job by technocrat Prime Minister Lucas Papademos.

Overnight, Greece's parliament rubber-stamped with a majority of 213 votes out of 300 a final piece of legislation to unlock the 130 billion euros of EU/IMF funds that will stave off a chaotic sovereign default.

"Following a decision by Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, Filippos Sachinidis is appointed finance minister," the prime minister's office said in a statement.

Sachinidis was deputy finance minister in the coalition government headed by Papademos since November. He held the same post in the previous socialist government of George Papandreou.

With a PhD in Economics from Manchester University, Sachinidis worked as an adviser in the economics office of socialist Prime Minister Costas Simitis in 2000-4.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Harry Papachristou; Editing by Stephen Nisbet)

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