Saturday August 23, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
25o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Hardouvelis to be sworn in as new finance minister

By Renee Maltezou and George Georgiopoulos

Economist Gikas Hardouvelis was named as finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle on Monday, signaling an intent to keep up a difficult reform drive demanded by foreign lenders funding the country.

A professor and adviser to previous governments, Hardouvelis is considered similar to his predecessor Yannis Stournaras, also an economist and technocrat who steered Greece towards economic recovery after it nearly crashed out of the euro zone in 2012.

But while the 58-year-old chief economist at Eurobank is expected to maintain the same focus on fiscal rigour, he is likely also to push for growth by cutting taxes.

He takes over at a time when Greece has put the worst of its debt crisis behind it, but is still grappling with a jobless rate of over 26 percent and public anger at austerity cuts that have spread poverty and squeezed household incomes.

"It's all about continuity in economic policy with a more sensitive and human face,» said Theodore Couloumbis of Greek think-tank ELIAMEP.

"Hardouvelis is very close to the kind of policies that have been implemented by the government and suit the EU and the IMF and are not far away from Stournaras's beliefs."

The appointment was part of a sweeping reshuffle by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras aimed at wresting back momentum from the radical leftist Syriza party, which won the European Parliament election on May 25 here by a margin of nearly four percentage points over the co-ruling conservatives.

Samaras replaced eight out of 20 ministers in the reshuffle, in an effort to show Greeks that his right-left coalition government is heeding their call for change but without angering foreign lenders who have prescribed austerity for Greece.

"This reshuffle shows that Greece will stay on reform path, and speed up growth without putting at risk budget surpluses,» said a senior government official, who declined to be named.

COALITION POLITICS

The changes also allow Samaras to count on the parliamentary support of Andreas Loverdos, a former Socialist PASOK lawmaker turned independent. He was named education minister, boosting the ruling coalition's majority by one to 153 seats in the 300-seat parliament.

The new cabinet will be sworn in on Tuesday.

A professor of finance and banking at Piraeus University, Hardouvelis previously advised technocrat prime minister Lucas Papademos in 2012 when Greece restructured its debt, imposing losses on private bondholders. He was also chief economic adviser to Socialist prime minister Costas Simitis from 2000-04.

Hardouvelis has in the past referred to the need for active policies to get Greece's economic wheels turning again, but has also stressed the importance of structural reforms.

"It's important to continue with structural reforms during the effort to end the recession,» Hardouvelis said in a speech in September. «The future cannot be stagnation. The economy's structure must change."

After a six-year slump, the country's worst peacetime economic crisis, Greece is expected to return to marginal growth this year. Athens returned to bond markets in April after a four-year exile with a successful bond sale.

Much of the credit for Athens' swift turnaround from near bankruptcy in 2012 has been given to Stournaras, who is now expected to replace Bank of Greece Governor George Provopoulos when his term expires on June 21.

Under Stournaras, Athens also posted a primary budget surplus in 2013, making it eligible for further debt relief by the EU and IMF, with talks expected to begin in the autumn - a next major focus for the new finance minister.

[Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday June 10, 2014 (12:07)  
External factors threatening Greek recovery
Vodafone to buy 73 pct more of Hellas Online for 73 mln euros
Tourist road arrivals head for new record
OAEE ups pressure for unpaid fees
New Democracy should look to center ground, says Mitsotakis
Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed opposition on Friday to New Democracy’s apparent plans to bring back into the fold politicians who had left the party in the past...
Education Ministry says almost 180,000 tertiary students ´stagnant´
A total of 178,458 people have failed to complete their tertiary education studies but are still registered as students, the Education Ministry said on Friday. According to the ministry, 139...
Inside News
West Brom sign Greek international striker Samaras
West Bromwich Albion have signed Greece striker Georgios Samaras on a two-year contract following his release from Scottish champions Celtic, the English Premier League club said on Friday. ...
SOCCER
Panathinaikos, Asteras Tripolis notch up vital wins in Europa League
Thursday proved a very productive night for two of the three Greek teams performing in the Europa League as Panathinaikos and Asteras Tripolis secured vital wins in the first legs of their p...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
On steroids
Bodybuilders are in a league of their own. They rarely make headlines for their achievements, their performance, or being role models. In contrast, they’re more likely to make the news due t...
EDITORIAL
Time to kick a stupid habit
Official figures indicate that tax dodging continues unabated across Greece’s tourist areas. According to data made available by the Finance Ministry following checks conducted between July ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. New Democracy should look to center ground, says Mitsotakis
2. Education Ministry says almost 180,000 tertiary students ´stagnant´
3. Hardouvelis ready to make changes to property tax after MP talks
4. Ancient Amphipolis tomb unlikely to have been looted, says lead archaeologist
5. Anti-terrorism squad called in after 300,000-euro bank robbery
6. External factors threatening Greek recovery
more news
Today
This Week
1. Aftershocks rattle Halkidiki after strong 5-Richter quake
2. Coast guard intercepts 180 migrants in Aegean in two days
3. Greek peach farmers await Brussels decision on compensation
4. Avramopoulos, Hagel hammer out 'roadmap' of defense cooperation
5. Hardouvelis hears grievances of coalition MPS to unified property tax bill
6. Spanish government bonds rise with Italy's before Draghi speech
Today
This Week
1. Carved sphinxes at Ancient Amphipolis tomb will not be removed
2. The magical mountain
3. Merkel cites euro’s ‘construction flaws’ as economy sputters
4. Greek stock recovery fading away as ASE falls 21 pct on valuations
5. Brussels warns Greece over plans to allow construction near Korinos beach
6. Second man held over double murder in Mani
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.