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An overhaul of the government is expected after Easter

28 April 2013 / 14:04:50  GRReporter
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Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will try to improve the image of the government and achieve a more rapid pace of implementation of initiatives that will take the country out of the current impasse.

What happened on Thursday, when offers were withdrawn at the last moment because of the veto of one of the partners in the government, the conflict over the provision on pensioners and the episode with Mrs Fotini Scopouli, led to an acceleration of changes. After the events of Thursday, the Prime Minister himself, who was convinced that he may prolong the life of the current government a bit longer, decided to make significant changes in the Council of Ministers immediately after Easter. According to the same information, Samaras has already agreed this with Evangelos Venizelos of PASOK, and, following the conflict Manitakis-Roupakiotis, he has the agreement of Fotis Kouvelis of the Democratic Left, too. On Thursday, at the government meeting, the amendment by Minister of Administrative Reform Antonis Manitakis was withdrawn – it foresaw redundancies of all pensioners in the public sector. Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis opposed it. Close associates of Samaras verified the information and explained that the announcement of the changes can be made before the departure of the Prime Minister for Beijing on 15 May.

The changes will start from the Ministry of Administrative Reform and e-government. Antonis Manitakis is actually “hanging in the air”. He was pointed out as the sole cause for the storm that occurred. Associates of the Prime Minister noticed that, commenting on Roupakiotis’s interview on Mega TV, in which he announced the amendment in question as monstrous without, however, naming Manitakis, Samaras himself pointed out the Minister of Administrative Reform as responsible for what had happened.

Besides Manitakis, changes are also likely to happen in the Ministry of Labour as well, where Yiannis Vroutsis’s positions are shaken. The political leadership of the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Health is also to be changed, from where Evangelos Livieratos and Andreas Loukourendzos will leave, respectively. Following the events on Thursday, Deputy Minister of Health Fotini Scopouli won’t remain in the government either. There will be a reshuffle in the Ministry of the Navy, too. The question of the division of the Ministry of Development and Infrastructure is open. In this case, Kostis Hatzidakis will remain Minister of Development, and Makis Voridis or Kyriakos Mitsotakis will take up the position of the Infrastructure Minister.

Minister of Finance Yiannis Stournaras and Minister of Public Order Nikos Dendias seem unshakable. Changes are not expected in the ministries of foreign affairs, defence, and tourism. Adonis Georgiadis, Vassilis Kikilias, Dionysios Stamenitis, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and Ioannis Plakiotakis of New Democracy have also claimed seats in the government, as well as Simeon Kedikoglou, Effie Christofilopoulou, Fofi Genimata, Paris Koukoulopoulos, Yiannis Maniatis, and Odysseas Konstantinopulos of PASOK. Probable candidates of the Democratic Left include Todoros Margaritis, Nikos Tsoukalis, Vassilis Oikonomou and Dimitris Hadzisokratis.

''With a stratagem...''

Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis announced the withdrawn amendment as unconstitutional and “a stratagem” since in practice it does not concern only pensioners in the public sector, but reduces the protection of all workers, including those in the private sector. On Mega TV, he said that he did not know who created this monster, implying probably that Manitakis was not its author. Roupakiotis emphasised that the one responsible for the Code of Civil Law was the Minister of Justice, who, however, had not been informed about the proposed amendments. He added that his associates' lawyers “held up their hands” when they saw the proposal.

Tags: Government changes Antonis Roupakiotis Antonis Manitakis Antonis Samaras
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