Coalition leaders in no rush for cabinet reshuffle

When they met last week, the three coalition leaders agreed there will be no government reshuffle before PASOK holds its party congress in February, Kathimerini understands.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras met with Evangelos Venizelos of PASOK and Democratic Left’s Fotis Kouvelis on Tuesday to discuss ways of improving cooperation between the three parties.

The three politicians decided that they would wait for PASOK’s congress to be completed before they entertain any ideas about a cabinet reshuffle. Venizelos could face a leadership challenge at the congress and given that there are some PASOK members who would like to see the Socialists leave the coalition, the former finance minister is concerned that a reshuffle which would lead to more prominent members being given cabinet posts would create more tension within the party.

Samaras is wary about making any moves that would destabilize PASOK further. Currently, New Democracy and PASOK have a combined total of 150 out of 300 MPs, so both want to avoid further losses.

When the coalition government was formed in June, Venizelos and Kouvelis chose not to appoint serving MPs in the Cabinet. Kouvelis personally chose academics Antonis Manitakis and Antonis Roupakiotis to represent Democratic Left in the Cabinet, as administrative reform and justice ministers respectively. As such, the leftist leader is not in a rush to replace his choices.

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