Greek PM reshuffles cabinet

Monday, June 09, 2014

ATHENS – Greek Prime Minister Andonis Samaras has carried out a radical cabinet revision on Monday after last month's European Parliament elections where his right-wing coalition lost ground against leftist main opposition Syriza.

The center-right New Democracy-Pasok coalition, led by Prime Minister Samaras and his deputy and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, received  22.8 percent of the vote in the elections while far-left Syriza Party won with 26.42 percent, gaining six seats in the EU parliament. 

Most remarkably, the reshuffling of the Greek cabinet includes non-elected economist and Piraeus University professor Gikas Hardouvelis - also a previous PM advisor - to replace Finance Minister Ioannis Stournaras who will head the central Bank of Greece.

Hardouvelis will now have to steer the talks of the crisis-hit country with the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - known as the "Troika" - to put the its finances in order and reform its economy in exchange for loans.

The Mediterranean EU country fell into recession after the collapse of US bank Lehman Brothers in 2008, which shrank its economy by 23 percent between 2008 and 2013.

Arghiris Dinopoulos will take over the post of Interior Minister and the existing Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Dendias will become the new Development Minister, He will be replaced by Vassilios Kikilias.

His coalition partner Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos along with National Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos will remain at their posts.

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