Tsipras reshuf­fles his cab­i­net

PM side­lines some who op­posed re­forms, brings in new faces, re­moves con­tro­ver­sial ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras pro­ceeded yes­ter­day with a long-awaited gov­ern­ment reshuf­fle, mov­ing out some min­is­ters who have op­posed bailout re­forms and bring­ing some new blood into the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Tsipras chose to keep most of the min­is­ters closely in­volved in bailout talks with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Greece’s in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors, in­clud­ing Fi­nance Min­is­ter Eu­clid Tsakalo­tos, in the cab­i­net. Tsakalo­tos kept his post. Gior­gos Stathakis was moved from econ­omy min­is­ter to en­ergy min­is­ter, re­plac­ing Panos Sk­ourletis, who had ex­pressed op­po­si­tion to the full pri­va­ti­za­tion of the Pub­lic Power Cor­po­ra­tion which Greece’s cred­i­tors have pressed for.

Sk­ourletis as­sumed the post of in­te­rior min­is­ter, tak­ing over from Panayi­o­tis Kourou­b­lis, who took over the Ship­ping Min­istry from Theodoros Drit­sas, who had also ex­pressed reser­va­tions about cer­tain pri­va­ti­za­tions.

The top job at the La­bor Min­istry was trans­ferred from Gior­gos Ka­trouga­los to his aide Effie Acht­sioglou, who has ex­pe­ri­ence in ne­go­ti­a­tions with Greece’s in­terna- tional cred­i­tors. An­other new name is that of Dim­itris Pa­padim­itriou, an econ­o­mist who as­sumes the helm of the Econ­omy Min­istry.

The Jus­tice Min­istry’s top job went to Stavros Kon­to­nis, who re­places Nikos Paraskevopou­los.

State Min­is­ter Nikos Pap­pas, who over­saw the gov­ern­ment’s con­tro­ver­sial TV li­cense auc­tion, was given the new Min­istry for Dig­i­tal Pol­icy and is to re­tain his re­spon­si­bil­ity for is­sues re­lat­ing to the me­dia.

Ed­u­ca­tion and Re­li­gious Af­fairs Min­is­ter Nikos Filis, who has clashed re­peat­edly with Arch­bishop Ierony- mos on a range of is­sues, was re­moved from the gov­ern­ment.

Oth­ers who kept key cab­i­net posts in­cluded De­fense Min­is­ter Panos Kam­menos, For­eign Min­is­ter Nikos Kotzias, Tourism Min­is­ter Elena Koun­toura and Mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter Yian­nis Mouza­las. The min­istries of the lat­ter two were made au­ton­o­mous.

An­other new min­istry is for ad­min­is­tra­tive re­form, which is to be headed by out­go­ing gov­ern­ment spokes­woman Olga Gerovasili. She is re­placed as spokesper­son by Dim­itris Tzanakopou­los, a close aide of Tsipras. Tsipras had been keen to shake up his cab­i­net for a while for sev­eral rea­sons: to boost the flag­ging pop­u­lar­ity of left­ist SYRIZA, to dis­tract pub­lic at­ten­tion from the fi­asco that fol­lowed the gov­ern­ment’s con­tro­ver­sial auc­tion for tele­vi­sion li­censes, which was deemed un­con­sti­tu­tional by the Coun­cil of State, and to con­vince the coun­try’s cred­i­tors that his ad­min­is­tra­tion is com­mit­ted to eco­nomic re­forms so that they launch talks on debt re­lief.

The new cab­i­net is ex­pected to be sworn in to­day.

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