- Title: Greeks express doubt as new gov't is sworn in
- Date: 5th November 2016
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (NOVEMBER 5, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING ON SYNTAGMA SQUARE/ PARLIAMENT IN BACKGROUND GREEK FLAG ON PARLIAMENT PEOPLE WALKING ON SQUARE (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT AND PENSIONER, MARIA, SAYING: "Nothing is going to change. I have been a pensioner since 2011, and my pension has been cut in half, more than half. Nothing is happening, there is no light anywhere. What should we do? Should we all emigrate? We have already sent our children away, now what are we supposed to do? They are fooling us, each government in its turn has been fooling us. What will change? We are in despair, we don't have enough for food or bills or anything." PEOPLE WALKING ON SQUARE (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT AND PENSIONER, NAME WITHHELD, SAYING: "These guys (Syriza coalition government) came, they promised - I of course, did not vote for him (Syriza party leader and prime minister Alexis Tsipras) because I didn't believe their promises - and now here we are. They have fooled everybody, they fooled the Pope, (Russian president Vladimir) Putin, (United States President Barack) Obama, and the Greek people. I don't believe anything they say." MAN LOOKING AT NEWSPAPERS HANGING ON KIOSK TA NEA NEWSPAPER HEADLINE READING: (Greek) 'RESHUFFLE BY CAESAREAN' NEWSPAPERS HANGING THE EDITOR'S NEWSPAPER HEADLINE READING (Greek): 'RESHUFFLE TO KEEP THE BALANCE'
- Embargoed: 20th November 2016 13:39
- Keywords: Greece Tsipras bailout government reshuffle cabinet
- Location: ATHENS, GREECE
- City: ATHENS, GREECE
- Country: Greece
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003576291J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Greece's new cabinet was sworn in on Saturday (November 5) after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reshuffled his cabinet late on Friday (November 4), in a bid to shore up his government's flagging popularity and speed up reforms agreed to under the country's third international bailout.
"It is a necessary reshuffle for attaining better results, even better results, in the overall performance of the government and not just taking into account the review but also the overall competitiveness of the Greek economy. We are ready now to rebound and we need a final push," said deputy foreign minister, George Katrougalos, who was transferred from the labour ministry.
Greece wants to wrap up a review on labour reforms and fiscal issues swiftly to qualify for more debt relief and for inclusion in the European Central Bank's bond buying programme. This will help it regain bond market access by 2018, when its current bailout programme expires.
"We have the opportunity for a new start that will give us the necessary impetus for the last critical steps of a marathon leading us to brighter days," Tsipras told reporters.
Tsipras switched his ministers around but brought few new faces to his cabinet, while signalling he would stick to the fiscal course agreed with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund by keeping finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos in place, and moving certain ministers to appease creditors who have accused Greece of foot-dragging in selling state assets.
Greece is expected to return to growth in 2017, an event which Tsipras hopes will convince Greeks that their sacrifices are paying off.
But Greeks on Saturday were unimpressed with the makeup of the new cabinet.
"What will change? We are in despair, we don't have enough for food or bills or anything," said Maria, a pensioner.
Tsipras was first elected in January 2015 promising to end years of austerity, but he reversed course six months later and signed up to a new bailout, Greece's third aid programme since the country's debt crisis broke out in 2010.
His popularity ratings have been dropping for months and his Syriza party has been trailing the conservative New Democracy party in polls.
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