Greek government reshuffle brings surprises and new faces in the Cabinet

Greek government reshuffle brings surprises and new faces in the Cabinet


Review Hari Stefanatos

The names of those who will staff the new Cabinet of the Greek government following the reshuffle of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras were made known shortly after 6:00 p.m. today, the day of the Holy Spirit, with “strong” names of the Center-Right being left out. The Prime Minister has decided, in cooperation with PASOK leader Evaggelos Venizelos, to proceed to a brave reshuffle, leaving outside the government persons who held ministerial chairs during the last year giving opportunities to new faces.

Among those who will lose their ministerial status will be Panos Panagiotopoulos, who is leaving the Ministry of Culture, Adonis Georgiadis who held the portfolio of the Ministry of Health and Athanasios Tsaftaris who as a minister was responsible for the Ministry of Rural Development. Makis Voridis is appointed the new Minister of Health.

There will also be achange in the representation of the government, as Simos Kedikoglou leaves his position as government Spokesperson.

The surprise of the reshuffle is Gikas Hardouvelis, the new Finance Minister.

“Gikas A. Hardouvelis is Professor of Finance and Economics at the University of Piraeus-Greece and Chief Economist of the EUROBANK Group.  He is Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London and at the Centre for Money, Banking and Institutions of Surrey Business School.  He is a member of the Academic Council of the Hellenic Banks Association and its EBF-EMAC representative, of the Cyprus International Institute of Management, of the Foundation for the Economic & Industrial Research and member of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Harvard Foundation. During the recent period of November 2011 – May 2012 of the coalition government of National Unity, he served as the Director of the Economic Office of the Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics (1983, University of California, Berkeley –USA), and M.Sc. & B.A. degrees in Applied Mathematics (1978, Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA).  He has been Assistant Professor at Barnard College, Columbia University (1983-1989), Associate Professor and subsequently Full Professor at Rutgers University (1989-1993). His academic work extends in Finance and Macroeconomics and is published in many internationally renowned journals, including the American Economic Review, the Journal of Finance, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Monetary Economics and many others”.

Andreas Loverdos will go to the Ministry of Education in the place of Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos.

In the new Cabinet will also be the candidate MEP for ND Niki Tzavela as deputy energy minister.

Ev. Venizelos, D. Avramopoulos and C. Athanasiou remain in their respective offices, along with Mic. Chrysochoides who remains as Minister of Transport.

Mr. Mitsotakis remains in the Ministry of Administrative Reforms, while Olga Kefalogianni will continue as Minister of Tourism.

The Ministry of Culture is taken over by Ms. Angela Gerekou.

As deputy Development Ministers are appointed the MP of PASOK in the region of Arcadia, Odysseus Konstantinopoulos, Ger. Giakoumatos and N. Mitarakis, while outside the government are the Secretaries of Education Simeon Kedikoglou and Gkioulekas.

The new Development Minister will be N. Dendias, the former Minister of Public Order, who will take the place of Mr. Chatzidakis, who is left out of the government.

In his position remains the Minister for Energy, Climate Change and Environment, Giannis Maniatis, who had been informed as such by the Prime Minister a few days back.

Mihalis Chrysochoidis also at his post as Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation with Thodoros Karaoglou former Minister of Macedonia – Thrace being left out.

The key to the reshuffle is the ministry of Finance, from which Giannis Stournaras departs as was known. Indeed there will be radical changes in critical posts of the ministry with persons such as the general secretary for fiscal policy, Christina Papakonstantinou, close associate of Mr Stournaras, being replaced.

According to information of the newspaper “To Vima” in her place will probably be appointed Helen-Styliani Romaidou, who is located in Brussels, in the Permanent Greek Delegation to the EU as Head of the Organic Unit of Economic Policy.

In their positions will remain the deputy ministers Mic. Papadopoulos, Evi Christophilopoulou and the Deputy Minister of Defence Mrs Fofi Genimata.

Immovable in his place remains the close friend of the Prime Minister D. Stamatis.

Ms. Zeta Makri leaves the Department of Health, while the deputy Minister Bezas remains.

Mr. Varvitsiotis remains in the Ministry of Shipping.

Of note is Mr. Georgiades’ denial of the post of the government’s Spokesperson.

(Source: Tovima)