- Title: Greeks express doubt as new gov't is sworn in
- Date: 5th November 2016
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (NOVEMBER 5, 2016) (REUTERS) JUSTICE MINISTER, STAVROS KONTONIS, ARRIVING FOR SWEARING-IN CEREMONY JUNIOR COALITION PARTNER AND INDEPENDENT GREEKS PARTY LEADER, PANOS KAMMENOS, AND HIS LAWMAKERS ARRIVING FOR CEREMONY INTERIOR MINISTER, PANOS SKOURLETIS, ARRIVING ENERGY MINISTER, GEORGE STATHAKIS, SPEAKING TO JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) ENERGY MINISTER, GEORGE STATHAKIS, SAYING: "Well, I think that the priority is to turn the economy around and provide all the available options for increasing social cohesion and making the necessary reforms in a wide range of areas." DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, GEORGE KATROUGALOS, ARRIVING FOR SWEARING IN CEREMONY (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, GEORGE KATROUGALOS, SAYING: "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." DEPUTY ECONOMY MINISTER, STERGIOS PITSIORLAS, ARRIVING FOR CEREMONY (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) DEPUTY ECONOMY MINISTER, STERGIOS PITSIORLAS, SAYING: "The government and the prime minister always stood by my side. The government is implementing a programme with consistency and it will continue to follow a policy that has been collectively decided. I will, of course, implement and support this policy." LABOUR MINISTER, EFFIE ACHTSIOGLOU, ARRIVING WITH GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN, DIMITRIS TZANAKOPOULOS (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) LABOUR MINISTER, EFFIE ACHTSIOGLOU, SAYING: "The prime minister has honoured me, and we will steadfastly continue our work at the labour ministry." GREEK PRIME MINISTER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, WALKING TO PRESIDENTIAL PALACE/ ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM MINISTER, OLGA GEROVASILI, WALKING BEHIND HIM (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK PRIME MINISTER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, SAYING: "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." VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF PRESIDENTIAL PALACE
- 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: LVA001576291J
- 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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