New government is ushered in

The government announced a broad reshuffle on Monday night, just a few days after the junior coalition partner pulled out of the administration, with PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos assuming the dual role of deputy prime minister and foreign minister, conservative New Democracy’s Kyriakos Mitsotakis taking on the tough task of administrative reform, while Yannis Stournaras kept his post as finance minister, as expected.

The new cabinet, which includes several members of PASOK in ministerial and deputy ministerial posts, is to be sworn in at 12.30 p.m. on Tuesday in a ceremony to be presided over by President Karolos Papoulias.

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou, who also kept his post despite rumors he would be ousted, announced the names of the members of the new cabinet on Monday night, a few hours after a brief meeting between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Venizelos.

Stournaras, a close aide to Samaras, kept his position as did several other key cabinet members, including Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis, Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias, Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis, Tourism Minister Olga Kefaloyianni and Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos.

Pantelis Kapsis, a former government spokesman under the technocratic government of Lucas Papademos, was given the top post at a new ministry for the state broadcaster and is to be tasked with overhauling the defunct ERT.

As anticipated, PASOK’s involvement in the new government was doubled with Yiannis Maniatis assuming the helm at the Environment Ministry and Michalis Chrysochoidis taking on a new autonomous Transport Ministry. Several other PASOK cadres were given key roles, including Evi Christofilopoulou, who is to be Mitsotakis’s deputy in the Administrative Reform Ministry hot seat.

Unexpected appointments included the posting in the Health Ministry of conservative MP Adonis Georgiadis with his ND peer Yiannis Michelakis assuming the top spot at the Interior Ministry.

Outgoing Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos was moved to the Defense Ministry, with the incumbent there, Panos Panagiotopoulos, taking the Culture portfolio.