Karamanlis days away from reshuffle

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is likely to announce a wide-ranging Cabinet reshuffle, possibly before the end of the month, sources said yesterday. If the reshuffle – which could see several ministers replaced and some ministries merged – does not take place this month, it is expected to be conducted early in January. Karamanlis is also expected to appoint several new general secretaries at some ministries and make them personally accountable to him. Agricultural Development Minister Alexandros Kontos and Deputy Foreign Minister Petros Doukas are due to be removed. Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos hinted yesterday that he would like a different Cabinet post but Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis insisted she still has plenty of work to do in her current job. The prime minister has already shown that he is in the mood for change, as was confirmed yesterday when he fired secretary for political planning Nikos Karahalios. The sacking was reportedly linked to comments he made last week to the International Herald Tribune in connection to the unrest in Athens. «He’s seriously troubled,» Karahalios said of Karamanlis in the article. «Whereas before we were dealing with a political and economic crisis, now there’s a third dimension attached to it: a security crisis.»

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