NEWS

Ex-Greek finance minister Tsakalotos said reluctant to take job again

ex-greek-finance-minister-tsakalotos-said-reluctant-to-take-job-again

Newly sworn-in Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is hoping to reappoint Euclid Tsakalotos as his finance minister on Tuesday but is struggling to persuade the respected bailout negotiator to take on the job.

State radio reported that Tsakalotos, who impressed eurozone counterparts for his constructive approach in bailout negotiations when hard-line leftist firebrand Yanis Varoufakis resigned, is reluctant to take the post again.

It gave no reason, but Tsakalotos, a Dutch-born British-educated Marxist economist, is a member of the so called '53+' faction in SYRIZA, some of whose members recently expressed concerns the party was moving away from core leftist values in favor of holding on to power.

Tsipras is expected to announce his cabinet later on Tuesday and party officials have said previously that Tsakalotos was "likely" to be the choice.

The radio said that if Tsakalotos was not appointed finance minister he could still lead negotiations with the eurozone, which has agreed an 86 billion euro ($96 billion) bailout with Greece in exchange for deep economic reforms.

Tsipras's alternative would be Giorgos Houliarakis, who has been finance minister in the caretaker government put in place during Greece's election campaign.

Houliarakis was also a leading member of the bailout negotiating team that agreed terms with the eurozone.

[Reuters]