ATHENS – Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ partially new, revamped Cabinet was sworn in on June 10 as he attempts to recoup ground his New Democracy Conservatives lost to the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party which won the most seats from Greece in the European Parliament.
The new members, many of them retreads from New Democracy and its partner the PASOK Socialists, were sworn in at the Presidential mansion, in the presence of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and Samaras. Conducting the swearing-in ceremony was Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos.
Several ministers and deputy ministers were replaced in a government reshuffle announced the day before, bringing changes in key ministries and several surprise departures and additions.
The top job of Finance Minister went to economics professor and banker Gikas Hardouvelis. He replaces Yannis Stournaras, who had been the country’s point man in negotiations – a task that now falls to Hardouvelis – with its international lenders, the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB.) Stournaras has been talked about as the new Bank of Greece Governor.
The last reshuffle of the incumbent New Democracy (ND) – PASOK coalition government took place in June last year – which came a year after Samaras’ first Cabinet when he won the national elections. This now gives him three Cabinets in two years.
Last year he brought in the Democratic Left (DIMAR), which later withdrew in protest over the firing of all 2,656 workers at the now-defunct national broadcaster ERT, which has been replaced by a new station called NERIT.
PASOK chief Evangelos Venizelos keeps his positions as Deputy Premier/Foreign Minister, given after he continued to back harsh austerity measures that devastated his party’s popularity but gave him plum jobs.
Dimitris Avramopoulos (Defence Minister), Miltiadis Varvitsiotis (Shipping & Aegean Minister) and Olga Kefalogianni (Tourism Minister) are among the ministers who retain their portfolios.
On the other hand, Adonis Georgiadis (former Health Minister), Constantinos Arvanitopoulos (former Education and Religious Affairs Minister), Yiannis Michelakis (former Interior Minister), Costis Hatzidakis (former Development & Competitiveness Minister), Panos Panayiotopoulos (former Culture and Sports Minister), Athanassios Tsaftaris (former Rural Development and Food Minister) and Simos Kedikoglou (former Government Spokesman and Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister), are some of the prominent members of the government who lost their jobs in a shakeup.
The new Cabinet, as announced by the new government spokesman, Sofia Voultepsi, will be the following:
Prime Minister: Antonis Samaras
Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister: Evangelos Venizelos
Deputy: Dimitris Kourkoulas
Deputy: Akis Gerontopoulos
Finance Minister: Gikas Hardouvelis
Alternate: Christos Staikouras
Deputy: Giorgos Mavraganis
Administrative Reform and E-Governance Minister: Kyriakos Mitsotakis
Deputy: Evi Christophilopoulou
Interior Minister: Argyris Dinopoulos
Alternate: Theofilos Leontaridis
Deputy: Giorgos Dolios
National Defence Minister: Dimitris Avramopoulos
Alternate: Fofi Genimata
Deputy: Giannis Lambropoulos
Development and Competitiveness Minister: Nikos Dendias
Deputy: Odysseas Constantinopoulos
Deputy: Gerasimos Giakoumatos
Deputy: Notis Mitarachi
Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister: Michalis Chryssohoidis
Deputy: Michalis Papadopoulos
Environment, Energy & Climate Change Minister: Yiannis Maniatis
Alternate: Nikolaos Tagaras
Deputy: Asimakis Papageorgiou
Education and Religious Affairs Minister: Andreas Loverdos
Deputy: Alexandros Dermetzopoulos
Deputy: Constantinos Koukodimos
Culture and Sports Minister: Constantinos Tassoulas
Deputy: Angela Gerekou
Deputy Minister for Sports: Yiannis Andrianos
Labour, Social Security and Welfare Minister: Yiannis Vroutsis
Deputy: Vassilis Kegeroglou
Deputy: Antonios Bezas
Deputy: Yiannis Plakiotakis
Health Minister: Makis Voridis
Alternate: Leonidas Grigorakos
Deputy: Katerina Papakosta
Rural Development and Food Minister: Giorgos Karasmanis
Alternate: Paris Koukoulopoulos
Justice, Transparency and Human Rights Minister: Charalambos Athanassiou
Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister: Vassilios Kikilias
Tourism Minister: Olga Kefalogianni
Shippping and Aegean Minister: Miltiadis Varvitsiotis
Macedonia-Thrace Minister: Giorgos Orfanos
State Minister: Dimitris Stamatis
Government Spokesman and Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister: Sofia Voultepsi