It’s a government with as much power to make decisions as you and me.
Does it matter who is in what ministry? Not really.
All decisions are now made by Brussels technocrats and in specific German officials. This cabinet is for show.
Better to save money and just fly in the Troika/Quadriga guys and gals into Athens, give then a flat downtown, and let them properly rule the country without the smoke and mirrors that the Greek people actually have a say in their country’s direction and future.
The new cabinet’s lineup was announced by government spokeswoman Olga Gerovassili who retains her position.
Tsipras did not make any major changes to key posts such as finance minister and economy minister, both of which are vital posts with regard to the implementation of the third bailout.
Euclid Tsakalotos, who Tsipras praised during the election campaign for the handling of negotiations with the lenders, is to continue as finance minister. Giorgos Stathakis, who also played a key role in agreeing the details of the new agreement with Greece’s eurozone partners in August, returns as economy minister. Two new deputy ministerial posts created under him, one for managing European Union subsidies and one for industrial issues, are to be assumed by Alexis Haritsis and Theodora Tzakri respectively.
The head of Greece’s negotiating team in Brussels, economics professor Giorgos Houliarakis, was given the post of Deputy Finance Minister responsible for the Treasury, replacing Dimitris Mardas who assumed a deputy post at the Foreign Ministry.
There had been speculation that Houliarakis would be responsible for coordinating government efforts relating to the bailout to ensure prompt implementation but the initiative did not appear to have been adopted.
Houliarakis had served as caretaker finance minister over the last few weeks, tasked with ensuring that Greece kept up during the election campaign the pace of preparations needed to ensure the first demands of the third bailout can be met without problems.
Another member of the caretaker government staying on in the new administration is Yiannis Mouzalas, who was given the role of alternative minister for immigration policy. Mouzalas was deemed to have been effective in his brief time in the position.
His spot in the government falls under the authority of the interior minister, where former health minister Panayiotis Kouroublis takes over, leaving the top spot at the health ministry.
Other key positions in the government, including foreign minister and defense minister, remained unchanged. Nikos Kotzias continues at the Foreign Ministry, while coalition partner Kammenos returns to the Defense Ministry.
Two other posts in the government expected to be awarded to Independent Greeks MPs were also unchanged, with Terence Quick continuing as a state minister and Elena Kountoura resuming her role as tourism minister.
It was also announced on Tuesday that some ministries would be restructured, with some general secretariats and responsibilities being shifted between them.
The result is that there will be five ministries that are different to the ones that existed under the previous government: Education, Research and Religion; Shipping and Island Policy; Economy, Development and Tourism; Infrastructure, Transport and Networks; and Environment and Energy.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.