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Venizelos is about to become Deputy Prime Minister

21 June 2013 / 22:06:59  GRReporter
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PASOK’s leader and coalition partner in the government of New Democracy Evangelos Venizelos is about to become Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs as reported by Greek media, citing the WSJ. This information has not yet been confirmed by official sources but according to political analysts there will soon be a cabinet reshuffle.

Minister of Administrative Reform Antonis Manitakis, his colleague from the Ministry of Justice Antonis Roupakiotis and Deputy Ministers of Education Theodoros Papatheodourou and of Health Fotini Skoupoula have announced that they resign. After Democratic Left has withdrawn its four representatives from the government, Samaras will have to replace them with new political figures who will have the confidence of both PASOK and New Democracy.

Following Kouvelis’ decision, the two persons that remain in the parliamentary coalition, namely Samaras and Venizelos had a telephone conversation to discuss their next steps. Their meeting will not take place on Friday evening, as expected, because the leader of PASOK has planned a trip to Thessaloniki and he will attend the meeting of the Party of European Socialists in Sofia on Saturday. This will allow Samaras to consider the new ministerial applications over the weekend and to announce his decision on Monday.
The first names that have been circulated in connection with the empty ministerial seats on the side of PASOK are of Paris Koukoulopoulous, former mayor of Kozani and president of the Union of Municipalities, Fofi Genimata, current speaker of PASOK and former Deputy Minister of Health, Yiannis Maniatis, former Minister of Energy and Climate Change and of the first cousin of the government spokesman and member of PASOK, Simeon Kedikoglou. Imerisia reports that former Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Makis Voridis of New Democracy is preparing to become Minister of Justice.

Meanwhile, government representative Simos Kedikoglou has announced that the government has the necessary majority to take the country out of the deep crisis. New Democracy has 125 deputies and PASOK has 28, allowing them to prevail in parliament with 153 votes.

It seems that their number will increase as two former supporters of Fotis Kouvelis have disaffiliated with the official position of Democratic Left. It is expected that two other members of Panos Kamenos’ party Independent Greeks will support the parliamentary majority.

"The government aim to meet people's will remains unchanged. Our main task is to get the country to emerge from the crisis and to reach economic growth and we have the parliamentary majority to do so," said Simos Kedikoglou.

While the government official was trying to convince the public that the situation in Greece is stable, the financial market had immediately reacted to the withdrawal of Democratic Left from the government.

On Friday, the main index of the Athens Stock Exchange plunged to 830 basis points and lost 6.11%. Turnover reached 69.5 million euro. "The decision of Democratic Left to leave the coalition had a direct impact," comments stock company Merit for Naftemporiki. "The feeling of political instability and the risk of failure of the reforms and the recovery programme have appeared again" experts state.

Tags: PoliticsCrisisPolitical instabilityDemocratic left
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