On Monday Prime Minister George Papandreou referred to major “structural changes” envisioned for the country, writing on his webpage, a statement echoed the same day by the government spokesman.
“There is no doubt that we are being called upon and we must respond to our loan commitments with reliability and seriousness, so that we can protect our country from the storm of international profiteering; as well as from the collapse of every social protection institution,” Papandreou stated.
He added: “The monetary result might only be of significance for some technocrats and analysts, in our case: to decrease the deficit, to tackle the debt, to pay off the loans. For us, no. We are not content with these. We are aware that no positive result will have a permanent character without bold institutional changes in the functioning of the state and the political system…institutional changes are a politically neutral meaning. Behind them lies a true political struggle, which is taking place around them and for them, at both national and international level.”
Government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis referred to the start of a “new cycle” of political and other major changes that have been scheduled, focusing on the citizen and growth.
He linked these changes to the “structural changes” that he announced in advance that will take place both in the ministerial council and the prime minister’s office, mentioning that the studies of the committee to which Papandreou has assigned this task to is underway.
On the question of a rumoured reshuffle, the spokesman underlined that the policies and not the persons are of interest to the government. He reiterated that if government members turn to the election struggle for local administration they will be replaced.
Meanwhile the Greek government is awaiting recommendations from a committee on the modernisation of the government’s functioning, whose coordination has been undertaken by Minister of State Haris Pamboukis.
The committee is composed of Kevin Featherstone, a modern Greek studies professor at the Eleftherios Venizelos Faculty and Director of the LSE’s Greek Observatory Richard Parker, a public policy lecturer at Harvard Roger Wilkins, a special adviser to the Australian premier Leif Pagrotsky, MP and a former Industry and Trade Minister in Sweden and Jeoff Mulgan, a former strategic planning head in the British PM’s office.
The committee was created by Papandreou in February and is assigned to come up with proposals to reform decision making and to make governance more effective and democratic.