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46 ministers, including 7 women in Tsipras’ new government

23 September 2015 / 12:09:47  GRReporter
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After the almost two-day-long consultations between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his coalition partner Panos Kammenos, the composition of the new Greek cabinet was announced shortly before midnight on Tuesday.
By choosing the members of the new cabinet, the Greek Prime Minister virtually has repeated its previous composition, including a few new figures and keeping unchanged the core team that will negotiate with the representatives of creditors.

The Greek media define the cabinet composition as the result of the efforts to keep the balance both within SYRIZA and in the relations with Independent Greeks that already have five ministers and vice - ministers.

The main figures in the cabinet are Minister of Finance Efklidis Tsakalotos and his deputy and caretaker Minister of Finance until recently George Houliarakis. Analysts point out that they have been selected for the specific posts because they both have taken part in the negotiations and meetings of the Eurogroup, due to which they have the experience to continue to work with the representatives of creditors in the future.

In the same vein, Yiannis Dragasakis is again deputy prime minister responsible for economic policy of the government and George Stathakis Minister of Development.

Recent caretaker Minister for Migration Yiannis Mouzalas is a new figure in the cabinet, whose actions last month corrected part of the failed tactics of former Minister Tasia Christodoulopoulou in the management of the migration and refugee wave.

Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos has returned to the Ministry of Defence and Nikos Kotzias is again Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The composition of Alexis Tsipras’ closest collaborators has remained unchanged too. Nikos Pappas and Alekos Flambouraris, who was accused of corruption before the elections, are Ministers of State again. Olga Gerovasili is the government spokesperson.

The new cabinet involves seven women in total. The new addition among them is Theodora Tzakri, who had held a ministerial post in the past. In particular, she was Deputy Minister of Interior in the PASOK government of Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Now Tzakri is appointed Deputy Minister of Industry. Commentators responded to this with remarks like, "The good thing is that Greece has no industry." There are also other equally ironic comments, stating that she left PASOK because she was opposed to the memoranda that she supported in parliament to implement the third of them as a minister in the government of SYRIZA.

In statements following the oath taking ceremony, Tzakri said that her priority would be "more chimneys smoking" in Greece.

Controversial Nikos Nikolopoulos of Independent Greeks is outside the cabinet again but Dimitris Kammenos who is known for his anti-Semitic comments on social networks is however appointed Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks. Before the referendum on 5 July, he criticized the demonstrations "We stay in Europe" by putting their slogan on the door of the concentration camp of Auschwitz.

Comments on the composition of the new cabinet have flooded social networks since morning.

"I do not know your opinion but I think that if this government is not an agreed comedy so that the country will be actually governed by Schäuble, we will have new elections in no later than six months," wrote economist George Prokopakis.

"He got rid of Varoufakis, Stratoulis, Lafazanis, Konstandopoulou, Valavani and Romanias and he still failed to form an even worse government than the previous. There are many reserves on the bench," said liberal Antipas Karipoglu, who was a candidate for parliament on the ticket of New Democracy.

Financial expert Kostis Lympouridis summarized laconically, "Grexit government".

Many other analysts say that the early elections were solely intended to "cleanse" SYRIZA from the hardliners, as there is no other change in the government team in fact. "It was a cabinet reshuffle, only that it was carried out by voting," they commented caustically.

Tags: PolicyNew governmentSyrizaIndependent GreeksEconomic teamAlexis Tsipras
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