Greek PM appoints economist Hardouvelis as new finance minister

ATHENS, June 9 Mon Jun 9, 2014 11:11am EDT

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ATHENS, June 9 (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras appointed economist Gikas Hardouvelis as finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle on Monday, replacing Yannis Stournaras who has led Greece's negotiations with its EU/IMF lenders and its return to financial markets this year.

The reshuffle comes after Samaras's co-ruling New Democracy party lost the European Union election in Greece to the radical leftist opposition Syriza and is aimed at showing Greeks the government has heeded their call for change.

Stournaras, a widely respected economist, is expected to go to the Bank of Greece, where Governor George Provopoulos's term expires on June 21.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Renee Maltezou)

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