- Title: GREECE: Greek PM says more growth needed, as new cabinet sworn in
- Date: 10th June 2014
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (JUNE 10, 2014) (REUTERS) SAMARAS AND NEW MINISTERS WALKING TO PARLIAMENT BUILDING FOR FIRST CABINET MEETING HARDOUVELIS WALKING TO PARLIAMENT FOR MEETING (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW FINANCE MINISTER, GIKAS HARDOUVELIS, SAYING: "The economy has stabilised, growth is coming, so it's important we continue with the reforms, it is important we try." HARDOUVELIS WALKING TOWARDS PARLIAMENT EXTERIOR OF PARLIAMENT BUILDING GREEK FLAG FLYING ON BUILDING
- Embargoed: 25th June 2014 13:00
- Location: Greece
- Country: Greece
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVAE7QDZUHBQD7KOGAVE82O5VE7Q
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Greece's new cabinet was sworn in on Tuesday (June 10) following a reshuffle that signalled intent to keep up a difficult reform drive demanded by foreign lenders funding the country.
Economist Gikas Hardouvelis has been named as the country's new finance minister and is considered similar to his predecessor Yannis Stournaras, also an economist and technocrat who steered Greece towards economic recovery after it nearly crashed out of the euro zone in 2012.
But while the 58-year-old chief economist at Eurobank is expected to maintain the same focus on fiscal rigour, he is likely also to push for growth by cutting taxes.
He takes over at a time when Greece has put the worst of its debt crisis behind it, but is still grappling with a jobless rate of over 26 percent and public anger at austerity cuts that have spread poverty and squeezed household incomes.
Heading to the first cabinet meeting after having been sworn-in, Hardouvelis said the government's reform programme had to continue.
"The economy has stabilised, growth is coming, so it's important we continue with the reforms, it is important we try," he said.
Hardouvelis' appointment was part of a sweeping reshuffle by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras aimed at wresting back momentum from the radical leftist Syriza party, which won the European Parliament election on May 25 by a margin of nearly four percentage points over the co-ruling conservatives.
Samaras replaced eight out of 20 ministers in the reshuffle, in an effort to show Greeks that his right-left coalition government is heeding their call for change but without angering foreign lenders who have prescribed austerity for Greece.
Addressing his new cabinet, he said the government had to ensure the recovery did not lose its momentum.
"The goal remains the same: to complete our efforts, to exit the crisis, to end with the bailouts, to maintain all the structural reforms, and above all to speed up growth, because the recovery has already begun," he said.
After a six-year slump, the country's worst peacetime economic crisis, Greece is expected to return to marginal growth this year. Athens returned to bond markets in April after a four-year exile with a successful bond sale.
On Tuesday the IMF warned Greece that reform fatigue had set in, and said the country needed to dramatically improve the efficiency of its public sector to meet fiscal targets and avoid new austerity measures.
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