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There is again talk about changing Stournaras

28 May 2014 / 18:05:29  GRReporter
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Two days after the European elections the rumours have resumed that Yiannis Stournaras is unhappy with the criticism of his work, being ready to leave the Ministry of Finance.

In a statement for AMNA national news agency, he denied the rumours, the sources of which were circles from the Ministry that are close to him. Shortly thereafter, however, the same agency made a third announcement, stating that the Minister is acutely affected by the criticism against him. His associates even recalled that Stournaras undertook to apply the policy of austerity to the Greek economy when it was in a state of collapse.

According to sources, however, the publications about his dissatisfaction did not appeal to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who was informed of them after landing in Brussels on Tuesday. A marathon of phone calls between Athens and Brussels followed, and Stournaras’ associates tried to dispel the impressions, arguing that the two spoke on current issues. According to them, the rest of the discussion is the result of journalistic exaggeration.

Greek media, however, suggest that yesterday's events were not coincidental as they relate to the cabinet reshuffle prepared by Antonis Samaras and Evangelos Venizelos, within the context of which Yiannis Stournaras’ staying in, or leaving, the Ministry will be a key action. According to a report in Kathimerini, they were about to lead to urgent changes in the composition of the government. Ultimately, it is not excluded that they be postponed for a while, in order to avoid creating the impression that the government is frightened by the vote or that Stournaras will leave his post because of yesterday's crisis.

A critical factor remains the question as to who the new governor of the Bank of Greece will be, namely if George Provopoulos will remain in the post or if he will be replaced. The government has to decide on this matter within the next ten days and it will certainly affect its composition.

At the same time, it is expected that SYRIZA will respond, bearing in mind the fact that its leader explicitly and harshly warned the government "to not dare to make such changes". Tsipras made this statement after his meeting with President Karolos Papoulias on Monday, at which he called for early elections.

Today, the President met with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, according to whom the message from the election result is to maintain the stability in the country. "We are a few steps away from the end. We must be united with each other. The second message sent by the citizens is that they are against the symbolic civil war to which some aspire," he added.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will meet with President Karolos Papoulias. The same afternoon he will meet with his coalition partner Evangelos Venizelos to decide on their next actions.

At the same time, due to the extremely poor election result of Democratic Left, which was also involved in the government until June 2013, its chairman Fotis Kouvelis announced before the central committee and the party congress his decision to resign.

A group of leading figures in the party however insisted on an immediate change in the party leadership and urged Kouvelis to facilitate the procedures by resigning right away.

Tags: PoliticsYiannis StournarasCabinet reshuffleGovernor of the Bank of GreeceAntonis SamarasEvangelos VenizelosAlexis TsiprasFotis Kouvelis
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