Looking ahead to the post-pandemic era, aides to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis are proposing early elections, which he rejects, and the prospect of a reshuffle.
According to sources, Mitsotakis has been urged to resort to the polls in the near future in order to take advantage of the government’s current positive momentum as suggested by recent opinion surveys, but also to receive a fresh and strong mandate in view of the difficult task of restarting the economy as a result of the financial disarray wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic.
However, according to his close associates, Mitsotakis has categorically rejected the idea of early polls, given that this will move the country into a protracted two-month pre-election period.
It is obvious, sources say, that the prime minister would not choose to create conditions of uncertainty and instability at this precarious moment in time, when the absolute highest priority is the greatest possible mitigation of the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
If, however, the election scenarios are rejected, it is very likely that a reshuffle will be on the table.
When a government, as is the case with Mitsotakis’, enjoys very high popularity rates, then a reshuffle can only be corrective and not sweeping, so as not to alter the existing balance of power.
The milestone for this is as we get closer to a year of government is July. This is not only because one year is enough for the prime minister to have a clear picture of the effectiveness of his ministers, but also because the easing of the lockdown will have progressed even further and Greece will have opened up fully again.
Thus a new beginning will be symbolically required which can be signaled through changes in government.
If a reshuffle does go ahead, it appears certain to reflect and maintain Mitsotakis’ centrist outlook, and within this context a new government could include politicians who do not come from ruling New Democracy, like former ministers for socialist PASOK, Yiannis Maniatis, Ilias Mosialos and possibly Anna Diamantopoulou.