In Greece the new members of Parliament elected in last month's general elections were officially sworn in during a ceremony in Athens on Monday (12 December).
SV INTERIOR: Greek Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis enters.
SVs: Archbishop of Athens Msgr Serafim speaking as Karamanlis enters and receives blessing. (TWO SHOTS)
SVs: Archbishop speaking and members raising right hands.
GV: Karamanlis speaking.
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Background: In Greece the new members of Parliament elected in last month's general elections were officially sworn in during a ceremony in Athens on Monday (12 December). Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis opened the new session of Parliament, in which his New Democracy party commands 172 of the 300 seats.
SYNOPSIS: Premier Karamanlis still has the strongest party in the Greek Parliament but its share of the 300 seats was reduced by 43 in the elections, held on November 20th. A Cabinet re-shuffle has reflected the electorate's demand for change.
Archbishop Serafim, the primate of Greece, gave his blessing to the new Parliament. Changes in the Cabinet have shown the success of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, which won a quarter of the total votes and raised its share of seats from 15 to 91.
Foreign Minister Dimitrios Bitsios was dropped from the Cabinet and replaced by veteran politician Panayotis Papaligouras, who was Minister of Co-ordination in the last government. Mr. Papaligouras has been involved in Greece's attempts to join the European Common Market. As Foreign Minister he will lead the market negotiating team.
Defence Minister Evanghelos Averoff-Tositsas has retained his post. The new Parliament is the second since the restoration of democracy in Greece three years ago.