Revamped Greek government vows fresh start

Revamped Greek government vows fresh start

A new Greek government was sworn in on Saturday (Nov 5) after a reshuffle aimed at helping push through obligatory but unpopular financial reforms.

ATHENS: A new Greek government was sworn in on Saturday (Nov 5) after a reshuffle aimed at helping push through obligatory but unpopular financial reforms.

"We have the chance for a fresh start, to get the necessary boost needed to run the last crucial metres of a marathon", Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Saturday.

The reshuffle Friday left in place most key government posts, including that of Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos who is leading tense talks with Greece's international creditors.

But local reports said the revamp, which notably placed Greece's former privatisation chief Stergios Pitsiorlas in the post of junior economy minister, was designed to demonstrate Athens' intent to forge ahead with bailout commitments.

Several anti-privatisation partisans were also moved out of key posts but remained in government.

In one notable switch-up on Friday, Tsipras moved his close ally, former Minister of State Nikos Pappas, to a brand-new ministry of digital policy.

Pappas led the left-wing government's unsuccessful drive to reform the media sector by limiting TV licences, a move rebuffed last month by the country's administrative court.

Only a year into a four-year term, Tsipras has seen his popularity wane following a new round of tax hikes and pension cuts.

The 42-year-old was elected in 2015 on his pledge to tear up prior austerity agreements, but was forced to reverse course and signed up for additional fiscal cuts in return for a massive €86-billion loan agreement from Eurozone countries.

Eurozone creditors announced last month they were releasing a €2.8 billion part of the agreement after reviewing ongoing reforms.

Greece is eager to receive the latest tranche and complete a second review by the end of the year, which would then trigger talks on reducing the country's huge debt load, despite reluctance from powerhouse Germany.

Source: AFP/ec

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