After government defections, Tsipras expected to reshuffle cabinet


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is expected to reshuffle his cabinet next week after 17 MPs of leftist Syriza, including two ministers and the speaker of Parliament, broke ranks with the government in a vote early on Saturday on Greece's proposal to creditors.

The vote passed with 251 votes in the 300-seat chamber thanks to the support of opposition parties. But the loss of support from the government and SYRIZA was unexpectedly large.

Tsipras held a crisis meeting at 5 a.m. on Saturday to discuss the developments and, in a short statement, suggested that action would be taken but that the current priority was the government's aim to seal a deal with lenders.

He described the approval of the proposal in Parliament as "a strong mandate for the completion of negotiations for the achievement of an economically viable and socially just agreement with creditors." "The priority now is to secure a positive outcome in the negotiations. All the rest will be dealt with in time," he said.

The developments, and Tsipras' statement, fuelled speculation in Greek media about a reshuffle next week and the possibility of early elections in the fall.