With the government struggling to overcome low approval ratings and desperate to turn the tide of discontent, talk of an imminent cabinet reshuffle is growing louder, with sources saying aides to Prime Alexis Tsipras are urging him to act sooner rather than later, even before the August 15 holiday.
Advisers believe a government shake-up is needed for Tsipras to signal the advent of the second half of his term in office, which, it is hoped, will mark the end of the country’s long and bitter bailout experience.
According to a senior party official, talk of a reshuffle has dominated recent discussions of Tsipras’s inner circle of advisers.
However, aides want the prime minister to act swiftly as they are wary of a long-drawn-out public debate over the reshuffle, as this could hamper the government’s reform efforts ahead of the third review of the country’s third bailout, which, it is hoped, will pave Greece’s way out of international stewardship, when the current program expires next year. However, a reshuffle could prove a gamble given the power politics at play within the government.
A case in point is the recent clash between Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Digital Policy Minister Nikos Pappas. A government official confirmed that the tension was caused by “the power of authority.”
According to sources, the magnitude of the reshuffle will depend to a great extent on whether Tsakalotos will remain at the finance ministry.
“Euclid would discuss a move only if he is to get transferred somewhere of equal or more importance,” the government official said, adding that the only post that fits that description is the vice presidency of the government.
This would be a powerful form of recognition of the huge effort he shouldered during the negotiations with Greece’s bailout creditors and of his success at concluding two reviews.
Several analysts believe that Tsakalotos’s imminent promotion is what spawned the conflict with Pappas.