Coalition leaders to meet to discuss reshuffle

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and PASOK’s Evangelos Venizelos are due to meet on Monday to discuss a reshuffle in Cabinet following the departure from the coalition on Friday for junior partner Democratic Left (DIMAR) following a rift over the closure of state broadcaster ERT.

“The government went through a rough patch over the last few days but it stood on its feet and continues with renewed determination and much better cooperation,” Samaras told To Vima newspaper on Saturday.

DIMAR leader Fotis Kouvelis withdrew his two ministers – Administrative Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis and Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis – from the government following the breakdown of a third round of coalition talks aimed at mending the impasse over ERT.

Samaras’s conservative New Democracy party and PASOK together control only 153 of the 300 seats in parliament. A few independents may also back the government, and the Democratic Left has signaled it could support some reforms on a case-by-case basis to keep Greece in the euro.

According to sources, the ratio of New Democracy to PASOK ministers in the new cabinet will be 2:1.

There were rumors that Venizelos may assume the post of foreign minister, currently held by Dimitris Avramopoulos, as well as the position of deputy prime minister. Among those expected to keep their posts are Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis, Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias, Tourism Minister Olga Kefaloyianni and Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos. Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras is also expected to remain in place.

ND deputies Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Makis Voridis are also rumored to be candidates for posts.