Alternate Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis is to take over the top spot at the ministry following the resignation of Evangelos Venizelos to lead Socialist PASOK, the office of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos confirmed on Wednesday.

Sachinidis, a 48-year-old economist, was widely expected to take over the Finance Ministry post as he has worked closely with Venizelos in negotiating and drafting economic policy. He is to hold the post in the countdown to general elections, expected by early May.

Sachinidis is to be sworn in at a ceremony scheduled to take place at 2.45 p.m., the premier's office said in a statement.

The politician, who has stood twice as an MP for the central city of Larissa, was also deputy finance minister in the previous PASOK government of George Papandreou and worked as an adviser to former premier Costas Simitis between 2000 and 2004.

He had been widely expected to get the job though there had been speculation abhout Interior Minister Tassos Yiannitsis or Papademos himself taking on the role.