PM endeavors to oversee economic policy

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis presided for the first time yesterday over a meeting of three ministers that is set to take place every month in a bid to give the premier a more hands-on role in shaping the government’s economic policy. Karamanlis met with newly promoted Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou, Public Works and Environment Minister Giorgos Souflias and newly appointed Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis. According to government sources, the prime minister wants the regular meetings to help create an economic policy that is more responsive to people’s day-to-day needs. Another aim is to ensure that there is less bickering among ministers about public funding. Souflias and former Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis often disagreed about the allocation of funds. However, the three ministers should get on well as Papathanassiou and Hatzidakis are quite close while the latter has a longstanding working relationship with Souflias. However, there are some concerns in the government that the setup could mean Papathanassiou will not make quick decisions as he will have to clear them with Karamanlis and the other two ministers first.

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