Greek PM reshuffles cabinet after capitulating to austerity

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras redistributes government posts after ministers object to new austerity measures

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has cleared a path towards a third bailout, after accepting the new measures from Greece’s creditors, by reshuffling his cabinet members on Friday night.

After a revolt within the left-wing party, Tsipras replaced key ministers in order to pave the way for the implementation of an upcoming deal that will secure 85 billion euros ($93 billion) of funding over three years.

The new deal will include tax rises and pension cuts and has not been welcomed by Greek citizens.

In the reshuffle, nine changes took place. Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and Alternate Finance Minister Nadia Valavani were replaced, while Alternate Social Security Minister Dimitris Stratoulis was dismissed. Former MP and actor Pavlos Haikalis, has been appointed as deputy social security minister, an important role elevating him to a partner in government.

The unexpected reshuffle implies possible elections after the deal with the creditors is reached.

"Elections will quite likely be held in September or October, depending on developments,"  Greek Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis said.

Associate Professor of Law and Economics at Athens University Aristides Hatzis said the reshuffle “marks the beginning of the end of his [Tsipras’s] relationship with the extremist far-left faction.”

“But it is also clear that this is a short-term government. Tsipras’s hands are tied because these people still have a strong presence in his parliamentary group,” he added.

The new ministers have already been sworn in to their posts.

Varoufakis says ‘reforms will fail’

While Prime Minister Tsipras seeks a rescue deal from Europe, former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis stated that the new reforms, which are due to be discussed next Wednesday, “will fail” and the whole programme “will go down.”

"This programme is going to fail whoever undertakes its implementation," he adds.

Varoufakis who resigned earlier this month, strongly believes that the government’s programme "has failed already."

In the meantime, Greek banks are scheduled to reopen on Monday according to the Ministry of Finance, after being closed for almost three weeks due to the enforcement of capital controls.

TRTWorld and agencies