NEWS

Ministers to get action plans, code of conduct

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Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is on Wednesday to present his ministers with specific targets they will need to meet and a code of conduct that will include a ban on hiring relatives, during a televised session of his new cabinet. 

Meanwhile, it was announced that the new premier is to visit Berlin next month following an invitation from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who telephoned him Tuesday to congratulate him as did US President Donald Trump and US Vice President Mike Pence.

The visit to Berlin is expected to take place after August 20. Before that, Mitsotakis will visit Cyprus, most probably following the announcement of his program policy statements and a vote of confidence on July 20-22.

Wednesday’s cabinet session, which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., will signal Mitsotakis’ priorities for his government.

According to sources, each minister is to be given a six-month plan stating specific objectives that will have to be met by December and explaining how their progress is to be evaluated.

The new premier is also expected to outline a new structure for his administration’s governance, which is to be detailed in the first bill Mitsotakis plans to submit to Parliament, after the program policy statement. 

In addition to a ban on hiring relatives, Mitsotakis is also expected to tell his ministers that spouses and children of government officials will be barred from signing contracts with the state, while ministers, their deputies and general secretaries will not be allowed to pursue a separate professional or business activity.

The cabinet meeting follows a flurry of ministry handovers on Tuesday that were, for the most part, amicable.

Incoming Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, who replaces Giorgos Katrougalos, said the new government will push for cross-party consensus on foreign policy. “Foreign policy should not be the subject of partisan confrontation,” he said. “We will safeguard the interests of the country, we will develop economic diplomacy, we will defend and strengthen our ties with diaspora Greeks.”

Taking over from Evangelos Apostolakis, Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said, in reference to recent tension in the Eastern Mediterranean, that “Greece does not provoke and wants relations of peace and stability in the Balkans and in the wider region of the southeast Mediterranean.”

Michalis Chrysochoidis, the head of the new Citizens’ Protection Ministry that has merged with the Migration Ministry, said his key goal is to restore a sense of safety in cities. Chrysochoidis chaired his first meeting with officials of the Greek Police, though the chief and deputy were not in attendance.

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, for his part, said the government with forge ahead with promised tax cuts.

Meanwhile new Development and Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis met with the CEO of Lamda Development to discuss the stalled privatization of Elliniko.