Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis conducted a mini-reshuffle on Friday to his ministerial team in the wake of the massive wildfires.
Christos Triantopoulos, until now secretary general for economic policy, was named deputy minister to the prime minister on issues of state aid and recovery from natural disasters.
Akis Skertsos stepped down as deputy minister to the prime minister to take over as state minister. His area of responsibility will not be affected.
Ioannis Oikonomou left the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, where he was a deputy, to become government spokesman. Aristotelia Peloni will remain deputy spokeswoman.
Oikonomou was replaced by Giorgos Stylios who has until now served as deputy digital governance minister.
Stylios’ post at the Ministry of Digital Governance will be filled by Theodoros Livanios, until now deputy minister to the prime minister.
According to sources, Friday’s mini-shuffle was the first phase of wider changes planned to the government lineup.
The changes came as part of the government’s efforts to manage the political consequences of the wildfires, which will be a major litmus test of its performance over its four-year term in office.
However, early elections in the immediate future have been categorically rejected by Mitsotakis, who has emphasized that going to the polls at this stage would be a sign of weakness.
The government has acknowledged that there were some failures in the management of the fires, with Mitsotakis himself apologizing during Thursday’s press conference and making it clear that responsibility will be assigned.
Sources however appeared optimistic on Friday that the wounds to the government’s image will begin to heal after the shock caused by the scale of the disaster subsides and public opinion begins to see the positives among the negatives.
Among these takeaways, was the fact there were no casualties, due to the mobilization of Civil Protection services and the Fire Brigade and the effective use of the number 112 contributed.
Moreover, no settlements were destroyed, but rather individual houses, while the critical infrastructure of the country was not affected.
What’s more, Mitsotakis did not try shrug off responsibility.