Reshuf­fle mo­men­tum grow­ing

Ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter adds her voice to those who are call­ing on Pa­pan­dreou to make changes in the Cabi­net

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Prime Min­is­ter Ge­orge Pa­pan­dreou came un­der grow­ing pres­sure yes­ter­day to reshuf­fle his Cabi­net in an at­tempt to give new mo­men­tum to his gov­ern­ment, which is strug­gling un­der crit­i­cism from the Euro­pean Union and the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund, dis­sent­ing PASOK MPs and protest­ing vot­ers.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Anna Dia­man­topoulou, one of the high­est-pro­file mem­bers of the Cabi­net, ad­mit­ted yes­ter­day that the gov­ern­ment had lost its way and that changes needed to be made to its front­line per­son­nel. “The gov­ern­ment has lost enough time,” she told Mega TV. “Who­ever is re­luc­tant should get up and leave.”

Dia­man­topoulou ap­peared to agree with those who have been ar­gu­ing that Pa­pan­dreou needs to bring in peo­ple from out­side the sphere of pol­i­tics to help run the coun­try. She called on the prime min­is­ter to draw from “the whole of so­ci­ety” to help “save the coun­try.”

Sources said that min­is­ters are tak­ing it as a given that there will be a reshuf­fle. In fact, some are ad­vis­ing the prime min­is­ter to car- ry it out be­fore the midterm fis­cal plan, which will in­tro­duce fresh aus­ter­ity mea­sures, is passed through Par­lia­ment.

One of the min­is­ters whose po­si­tion could be un­der threat is Gior­gos Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou. The fi­nance min­is­ter came un­der at­tack from PASOK MPs on Tues­day and his grow­ing un­pop­u­lar­ity within the rul­ing party could prompt Pa­pan­dreou to re­place him.

“I am stat­ing it ab­so­lutely clearly that we will not ac­cept any changes to the tax on heat­ing oil with­out a re­dis­tri­bu­tion mech­a­nism,” PASOK deputy Paris Kouk­oulopou­los told Athina 984 ra­dio yes­ter­day. “We will not ac­cept all the pri­va­ti­za­tions hap­pen­ing at the same time.”

Pop­u­lar Ortho­dox Rally (LAOS) leader Gior­gos Karatzaferis launched an out­spo­ken at­tack on Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou in Par­lia­ment, re­fer­ring to him as “a col­lege boy with no so­cial or pro­fes­sional achieve­ments who lacks any ex­pe­ri­ence of the mar­ket.”

Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou’s deputy, Filip­pos Sa­chini­dis, also came un­der at­tack yes­ter­day when he briefed MPs on whether the gov­ern­ment is meet­ing its bud­get tar­gets.

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