Ministers appointed to the new cabinet on Wednesday pledged to get down to work as the government tries to shape policy in areas that are not immediately affected by the country’s third bailout with international lenders.
“The memorandum [of understanding] is not the limit of our vision,” said Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis after the 46-member government was sworn in on Wednesday. “The memorandum is something that we have to do. Beyond that, we are looking to a plan that can help society.”
The ministers, many of whom are unchanged from the previous SYRIZA-Independent Greeks government, took over their duties after being sworn in. “Our first aim is to resolve the outstanding issues so that public schools operate properly,” said Education Minister Nikos Filis, who replaces Aristides Baltas. The latter has moved across to the Culture Ministry.
Health Minister Andreas Xanthos pledged a “restart” in his sector. The doctor replaces Panayiotis Kouroublis, who was give the top post at the Interior Ministry.
Kouroublis pledged to ensure that the public administration will “be a useful tool” and not for providing jobs to the party faithful.
Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos pledged a clampdown on corruption, especially in terms of investigating the Greek depositors named on the Lagarde list. The Justice Ministry will now be responsible for all efforts to tackle graft as the special ministerial post created for this task, and filled by ex-Supreme Court prosecutor Panayiotis Nikoloudis, in the previous government has been scrapped.