Reshuf­fle on the cards

PM said to be con­sid­er­ing cab­i­net shake-up in bid to turn the tide of dis­con­tent

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

With the gov­ern­ment strug­gling to over­come low ap­proval rat­ings and des­per­ate to turn the tide of dis­con­tent, talk of an im­mi­nent cab­i­net reshuf­fle is grow­ing louder, with sources say­ing aides to Prime Alexis Tsipras are urg­ing him to act sooner rather than later, even be­fore the Au­gust 15 hol­i­day.

Ad­vis­ers be­lieve a gov­ern­ment shake-up is needed for Tsipras to sig­nal the ad­vent of the sec­ond half of his term in of­fice, which, it is hoped, will mark the end of the coun­try’s long and bit­ter bailout ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ac­cord­ing to a se­nior party of­fi­cial, talk of a reshuf­fle has dom­i­nated re­cent dis­cus­sions of Tsipras’s in­ner cir­cle of ad­vis­ers.

How­ever, aides want the prime min­is­ter to act swiftly as they are wary of a long-drawnout pub­lic de­bate over the reshuf­fle, as this could ham­per the gov­ern­ment’s re­form ef­forts ahead of the third re­view of the coun­try’s third bailout, which, it is hoped, will pave Greece’s way out of in­ter­na­tional stew­ard­ship, when the cur­rent pro­gram ex­pires next year. How­ever, a reshuf­fle could prove a gam­ble given the power pol­i­tics at play within the gov­ern­ment.

A case in point is the re­cent clash be­tween Fi­nance Min­is­ter Eu­clid Tsakalo­tos and Dig­i­tal Pol­icy Min­is­ter Nikos Pap­pas. A gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial con­firmed that the ten­sion was caused by “the power of au­thor­ity.”

Ac­cord­ing to sources, the mag­ni­tude of the reshuf­fle will de­pend to a great ex­tent on whether Tsakalo­tos will re­main at the fi­nance min­istry.

“Eu­clid would dis­cuss a move only if he is to get trans­ferred some­where of equal or more im­por­tance,” the gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said, adding that the only post that fits that de­scrip­tion is the vice pres­i­dency of the gov­ern­ment.

This would be a pow­er­ful form of recog­ni­tion of the huge ef­fort he shoul­dered dur­ing the ne­go­ti­a­tions with Greece’s bailout cred­i­tors and of his suc­cess at con­clud­ing two re­views.

Sev­eral an­a­lysts be­lieve that Tsakalo­tos’s im­mi­nent pro­mo­tion is what spawned the con­flict with Pap­pas.

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