NEWS

Tsipras returns as PM, cabinet due to follow swiftly

Leftist SYRIZA leader and winner of Greek general election Alexis Tsipras (left) is sworn in as prime minister by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos (right) during a ceremony at the presidential palace in Athens on Monday.

TAGS: Elections, Politics

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras was sworn in as prime minister on Monday for the second time this year, with his cabinet due to follow on Tuesday or Wednesday after he renewed the leftists’ cooperation with right-wing Independent Greeks.

After being sworn in as prime minister on Monday evening, Tsipras officially assumed office from caretaker premier Vassiliki Thanou in a brief handover ceremony. During the ceremony, Tsipras said the key commitment of his new government would be to extract the country from a five-year economic crisis. “The country will get past these difficulties on which all the efforts of the new government will be focused,” he said.

As regards the migration crisis, which European Union leaders are set to discuss in Brussels on Wednesday, Tsipras said a collective effort is needed. “With respect for humanitarian values, Europe must solve a global problem,” he said.

Tsipras met Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos on Monday to seal their agreement, which will lead to the creation of a government that is expected to consist of similar ministers to the previous administration formed by the two parties.

In comments to reporters after the meeting, Kammenos said the new alliance would be “a progressive government which will continue the work we started in those six months,” a reference to the previous SYRIZA-ANEL coalition.

Kammenos called on lawmakers from other parties to “grasp the message sent by the Greek people in favor of national unity.”

He indicated that he and Tsipras saw eye-to-eye on the composition of the new cabinet. “We’re not arguing over ministry posts,” he said.

It is expected that Euclid Tsakalotos will continue as finance minister and that Giorgos Stathakis will also keep his role at the Economy Ministry.

However, Tsipras is said to want to create a position at the level of deputy minister that will carry the responsibility for coordinating the government’s actions in relation to the demands of the third bailout. It is expected that caretaker finance minister Giorgos Houliarakis, who also led Greece’s negotiating team in Brussels over recent months, will take on this role.

SYRIZA stalwart Yiannis Dragasakis is expected to continue in his role as deputy prime minister. It was rumored that he was being lined up to become the next parliamentary speaker but it seems that this role is likely to go to Nikos Voutsis.

Sources said that Yiannis Panousis is unlikely to be recalled as citizens’ protection minister. Also, the current caretaker minister for immigration policy, Yiannis Mouzalas, may be kept on by the new government.

SYRIZA and Independent Greeks were able to renew their alliance after the leftists gained 35.4 percent of the votes and 145 seats in Parliament, and the nationalists 3.6 percent and 10 seats. SYRIZA saw its number of voters drop by around 320,000 since January. Independent Greeks won some 93,000 fewer votes.

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