The Greek president, Karolos Papoulias, has acceded to demands from the German and French governments and agreed to appoint a more pronounceable leader to head up the new Greek government.
The move effectively rules out the appointment of Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos or Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou to the premiership, which has allayed fears in the markets that the next prime minister will be even more unpronounceable than outgoing leader George Papandreou. A leading economist said: ‘There would be nothing worse than some aspect of this crisis being really difficult to understand.’
Despite the deal, several Greek ministers remain in the running to be appointed prime minister, with the most likely candidates being Interior Minister Harris Castanets, Justice Minister Minute-Tardis Omberdombelou, or Mr Operdoperos, the fictitious launderette owner in EastEnders. ‘Operdoperos is the clear front-runner,’ said a BBC source. ‘If Dot Cotton can pronounce it then there’s a fair chance Robert Peston can.’
The German government denied that not being a real person should disqualify Mr Operdoperos from taking the premiership, if offered. ‘To be honest, we rather support his candidacy,’ said a spokesman. ‘Being fictitious means he’s got a better chance of understanding the Greek economy than the rest of us.’