Greece’s New Coalition Cabinet Sworn In



Greece's New Coalition Cabinet
After three years of protests, strikes and riots against austerity measures and the New Democracy (ND) Conservative and PASOK Socialist parties for creating Greece’s crushing economic crisis and imposing pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions, a new cabinet of ministers from the two parties who will serve in a power-sharing government under Prime Minister and ND chief Antonis Samaras was sworn in on June 25.

The plum spots of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister went to PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos as a reward for backing Samaras’ closing of the national broadcaster ERT and the firing of all its 2,656 workers on June 11.

Samaras shook up his administration to give other key roles to PASOK officials in the wake of the Democratic Left (DIMAR) leaving the coalition in protest against the ERT shutdown.

Venizelos accepted a compromise from Samaras to bring back as many as 2,000 ERT workers temporarily and restore the station’s signal as ordered by the country’s highest court, the Council of State on June 17, which the government is still ignoring.

The court also said, however that Samaras had the right to restructure ERT and his initial plans were to rehire 1000-1200 of the staff to run a new operation to be called NERIT and have it up and running by the end of the summer.

With Venizelos also getting the foreign minister’s spot, bumping Dimitris Avramopoulos to defense minister, Samaras also increased his Cabinet from 17 to 19 ministers, breaking another campaign vow to reduce the size of the administration.

The new cabinet, which includes 11 members of PASOK in ministerial and deputy ministerial posts, was sworn in a ceremony presided over by President Karolos Papoulias.

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou, a former ERT worker who denounced the operation after he left, also kept his post despite reports he would be ousted because he had become a lightning rod for criticism of hypocrisy. Samaras and Venizelos reformed the Cabinet in a meeting on June 24 and put it together within hours.

Technocrat Yannis Stournaras, a close aide to Samaras who had been the point man on negotiation with international lenders over ongoing reforms, kept his position as Finance minister as did several other key cabinet members, including Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis, Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias, Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis, Tourism Minister Olga Kefaloyianni and Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos.

Pantelis Kapsis, a former government spokesman under the technocratic government of Lucas Papademos, was given the top post at a new ministry for the state broadcaster and is to be tasked with overhauling the defunct ERT.

As anticipated, PASOK’s involvement in the new government was doubled with Yiannis Maniatis assuming the helm at the Environment Ministry and Michalis Chrysochoidis taking on a new autonomous Transport Ministry. Several other PASOK cadres were given key roles, including Evi Christofilopoulou, who is to be ND’s Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s deputy in the Administrative Reform Ministry hot seat.

Unexpected appointments included the posting in the Health Ministry of conservative MP Adonis Georgiadis, formerly with the far-right LAOS party, with his ND peer Yiannis Michelakis assuming the top spot at the Interior Ministry. Georgiadis’ appointment led another ND appointee, Sophia Voultepsi, to decline the deputy’s role there. Georgiadis has been a political pit bull for Samaras, going after rivals.

With Avramopoulos moved to the Defense Ministry, the incumbent there, Panos Panagiotopoulos, took the Culture portfolio.

The major opposition party Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), which is opposed to the bailout plan from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) issued a statement denouncing the new coalition, saying it can’t save what it felt was a collapsing government and predicted more austerity measures coming.

The announcement further adds that “the bailout forces have moved on from fairytales of investments and growth to attempting to destroy public television and expand into all public organizations.” According to SYRIZA new wage and pension cuts and new taxes will be necessary to cover the funding deficit and correct the miscalculations of the previous measures.

“There is no doubt that the new cabinet and government plan will be focused on an even more strict implementation of the bailout program and shrinking of democracy, closing the eyes before the dramatic repercussions for the economy and society,” it said. SYRIZA’s announcement concluded that “the Greek people will defend democracy and their rights and throw away the new government’s plan”.

The new government of Greece :

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (ND)
Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos (PASOK, also foreign minister)

Administrative Reform and E-Governance Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (ND)
Alternate Evi Christofilopoulou (Pasok)

Culture and Sports Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos (ND)
Deputy Yannis Andrianos (ND)

Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos (ND)
Alternate Fofi Gennimata (PASOK)
Deputy Thanasis Davakis (ND)

Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis (ND)
Deputy Thanasis Skordas (ND)
Deputy Notis Mitarakis (ND, responsible for private investment)

Education and Religious Affairs Minister Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos (ND)
Deputy Symeon Kedikoglou (PASOK)
Deputy Kostas Gioulekas (ND)

Environment, Energy & Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis (PASOK)
Alternate Stavros Kalafatis (ND)
Deputy Asimakis Papageorgiou (ND, unelected. Former manager in energy sector)

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras (technocrat, unelected)
Alternate Christos Staikouras (ND, responsible for public spending)
Deputy George Mavraganis (Responsible for revenue. Former tax expert with KPMG)

Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos (PASOK)
Deputy Dimitris Kourkoulas (technocrat, former European Commission official)
Deputy Akis Gerontopoulos (ND)

Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis (ND)
Deputy Antonis Bezas (ND)
Deputy Zetta Makri (ND)

Interior Minister Yannis Michelakis (ND)
Alternate Leonidas Grigorakos (PASOK)

Justice, Transparency and Human Rights Minister Haralambos Athanassiou (ND, former Areios Pagos judge and head of the Union of Judges and Prosecutors (EDE))

Labour, Social Security and Welfare Minister Yiannis Vroutsis (ND)
Deputy Vasilis Kegeroglou (PASOK)

Macedonia-Thrace Minister Theodoros Karaoglou (ND)

Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Dendias (ND)

Rural Development and Food Minister Athanasios Tsaftaris (technocrat, professor of genetics and plant breeding)
Alternate Maximos Harakopoulos (ND)

Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis (ND)

Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni (ND)

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis (PASOK)
Deputy Michalis Papadopoulos (ND)

State Minister Dimitris Stamatis (ND)

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou (ND)

Deputy Minister for Public Radio and Television Pantelis Kapsis


12 COMMENTS

  1. Absolutely DISGRACEFUL that Samaras is rewarding the fat pig Venizelos and once again hiring more “Dynasty” families like Kyiakos Mistotakis and even adding more ministers to the cabinet– The Greek People are fed up and have had enough and will REVOLT sooner than you think!
    Why’ isn’t the Greek Justice System or Courts or the Greek Press asking and focusing on where 250 million Euros went in bogus fraudulent loans to PASOK and ND Parties from their Banker cronies which they both so far “refuse” to account for ?!!! Where did this 250 million Euros in Greek
    Taxpayers money go to and into who’s personal pockets?? That would have been good money to add to Greek lost revenues.

    WHY IS THE WORLD PRESS & JUSTICE SYSTEM NOT ASKING them QUESTIONS??? –THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS behaviour by the PRESS and this horrific Gov’t of thieves & Liars !!

    See what Greeks feel about it here:
    http://300vspasokandnd.webs.com/

  2. Germanotsolia Prodotes. All of them

    The Secret Sauce Of Iceland’s Success Story: Debt Liquidation?

    That Iceland is so far the only success story in the continent of Europe, which continues sliding into an ever deeper depressionary black hole, as a result of the complete destruction of its financial sector and its subsequent rise from the ashes, is by known to most. What is still not exactly clear is what conditions have allowed success and growth to flourish in a barren wasteland where 60% youth unemployment is increasingly the norm, and where economic “outperformance” is measured in shades of red. As it turns out, perhaps the biggest jolt to Icelandic economic growth is what we said was the correct prescription for resolving not only the US but global growth malaise that struck in 2008: debt liquidation.

    Of course, instead the powers that be opted for merely masking unsustainable debt with more debt in the hope of preserving the global financial equity tranche, where some $50 trillion, or two-thirds of total, in US household wealth is concentrated, by drowning out hundreds of trillions in global debt through controlled debt inflation – which four years later still has yet to take hold, and which with every incremental dollar, yen, franc or pound printed threatens to spillover into uncontrolled hyperinflation, i.e., loss of fiath.

    Alas, no debt liquidation is possible without making the equity below it worthless: a fact of restructuring known all to well to most which is precisely why it will not happen as long as the status quo is in control. Yet in those places which dared to bite the bullet and do the right thing – namely liquidate untenable debt – growth is back, and the future is truly bright without everyone asking “just how much longer will a few Keynesian voodoo acolytes provide a reprieve from the poverty effect?.”

    From Bloomberg:

    “Iceland’s lenders have forgiven household debt equal to about 12.4 percent of gross domestic product since the island’s 2008 financial collapse.

    Lenders had written off 212.2 billion kronur ($1.7 billion) in household debt through the end of 2012, the Icelandic Financial Services Association said in a letter to parliament. The group estimated a further 35.3 billion kronur will be forgiven this year after they recalculate loan agreements to meet a Supreme Court ruling.

    About 141.2 billion kronur of that follows a ruling from the island’s top court stating that mortgage loans indexed to foreign exchange rates were illegal, it said.

    The island’s biggest banks failed in October 2008, after defaulting on about $85 billion in debt. The collapse plunged the island’s economy into a crisis that sent unemployment surging nine-fold and triggered a recession.

    The association said that of the total, 45.8 billion kronur in private debt was forgiven as part of an agreement that stipulated that debts exceeding 110 percent of a property’s value must be written off.”

    What a novel concept: debt slaves succeeding in, one day at a time, removing their shackles. Or at least being aware of their debt serf status: which sadly is much more than one can say about 99% of the remainder of the world’s population.

    That said, look for debt liquidation to be tried everywhere else eventually… But only after every other mechanism of “inflating” away the debt has failed, and in the process also wiped out not only the global middle class, but the myth of the welfare state.

  3. When it comes to the New Normal, there are just two precedents: complacent and

    doomed debt slaves, such as Greece, which continues to voluntarily hand over any and all of its real assets to the vampiric banking oligarchy in exchange for simply being the member of a doomed club, while trembling at constant threats of fire and brimstone if it dares to split away from its monetary parasites (and where unemployment rises by 3% in one quarter), or the rare success story such as Iceland, which showed the bankers a middle finger, took the red pill and disconnected from the globalization matrix. And while even Bloombergrecently extolled the virtues of the Iceland “case”, which will likely be solitary until the entire ponzi scheme comes crashing down, we are heartened when we observe all incremental milestones of further economic and financial success by the one country that dared to call the banker bluff, and won. Such as thispress release from the IMF.

    Iceland to Repay Early Some Outstanding Obligations to the IMF
    Press Release No.12/84
    March 15, 2012

    Iceland announced today that it repaid, ahead of schedule, obligations to the IMF amounting to some SDR 288.8 million (US$ 443.4 million). The payment was made on March 12.

    The early repayment is about one fifth of the SDR 1.4 billion (US$2.15 billion) that Iceland borrowed from the IMF under its Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) (see Press Release 08/296). The amounts repaid early are the obligations falling due in 2013 under the original repayment schedule.

    Together with a scheduled payment made in February 2012, this early repayment will reduce Iceland’s outstanding obligation to the IMF to SDR 1.041 billion (about US$1.60 billion). This outstanding balance is projected to be repaid during 2012-16.

    After this early repayment, and taking into account a similar early repayment of Iceland’s Nordic loans, reserve adequacy—as measured by the ratio of reserves-to-short term debt—will remain above the standard benchmark of 100 percent.

    Congratulations Iceland. We can only hope even one other country had the testicular fortitude to follow in your footsteps and realize that all hollow threats of mutual assured destruction if one dares to turn their back on the banking supercabal, are just that. Hollow.

    keep on bailing out your fascist masters over at the euro and wall st you traitors while continuing to destroy Greece to save your overlords and the bank accounts of your friends on the Lagarde list and others. you should all be hung for treason

    Presenting: unemployment in Iceland and Greece – pick the “just say no to the status quo” winner out.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/03/Iceland%20vs%20Greece_0.jpg

  4. Some among the cognoscenti of European elite still crow that the crisis is behind us and point to the closing of current account deficits in Spain, Italy Portugal, and Greece as some evidence of this. However, as JPMorgan’s CIO David Cembalest notes, while, in prior cases, this development usually meant a broadening recovery was on the way; the collapse in imports has driven this move and dramatically flatters any overall improvement. Typically balance of payments crises are solved by rising exports and as Cembalest warns, Europe’s ability to endure the current collapse remains a major question mark.

    The current account deficits in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece have now closed. In prior crises, this development usually meant a broadening recovery was on the way.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2013/06-2/20130624_EOTM1_0.jpg

    So, are closing European current account deficits as positive an omen as in the past? Such deficits typically close almost entirely due to rising exports. That’s not the case this time, as an import collapse flatters the overall improvement.

    Europe’s ability to endure this remains a question mark.

    The contribution from collapsing imports (and collapsing demand and employment) to the improvement in current account deficits, past and present, import collapse as % of current account improvement:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2013/06-2/20130624_EOTM2_0.jpg

    A Matter of Import in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece

    “I read somewhere that their current accounts
    Improved by impressively large amounts

    If so, they’ll soon be recovering fast
    At least that’s what’s been observed in the past.

    But something’s amiss in that deficit chart –
    The harlot’s cheek, beautied with plastering art*

    Is how I’d describe anyone’s allusion
    To crises resolved; it would be a delusion

    Since the main thing here is import collapse,
    Not jobs or exports or growth, perhaps.

    Unlike other recov’ries seen or felt
    This one is mostly a tightening belt.

    So before you think an economy’s healed
    Consider an adage herein revealed:

    Current accounts of zero can mean success
    Or that everyone’s under tremendous stress.”

    * Hamlet, Act 3, Scene I

  5. I look at the picture and……….I see a lot of rocks.

    Does ANY Greek politician have a clue on how to run a country? Do any of them have any vision? Is this the BEST Greece has? Let’s not even vomit at the assorted commies, marxist, eco’nuts, far right and left wingers that make up the rest of the rock garden.

    *sigh*

  6. Too expensive. I think we should give them all big knives, throw some Euros on the floor and see who wins……

    Cheaper AND entertaining.

  7. Two political enemies governing a country…The country is in ruins and all they can do is reshuffle here and reshuffle there, changing minister here and changing minister there and nothing is happening…No changes in the country’s system it’s economy and future plans…This is a country with crooks and criminals sitting ruling with no real agenda to bring life to bankrupt and sunk country…No one is capable of anything in this country, that’s why it is in ruins…

  8. READ THIS below from New York Times today… Incredible!—-
    “Greek EU Loans Plan May Reward Some Crooked Bank Executives”

    New York Times by Landon Thomas– June 25, 2013
    LONDON — Even as European taxpayers grimace at the escalating cost of bailing out Greece’s banking system, the banks’ top executives are poised to potentially strike it rich.

    The plan developed by the Greek government and its international creditors to recapitalize the country’s banks involves an unusual twist as stock offerings go: the new shares in the banks will give investors free and potentially lucrative warrants that will entitle them to buy many more shares in the future at a predetermined price.

    Because many of the investors who are expected to participate in the stock program are the same executives who were running the banks at the time of their near collapse, critics see it as a case of bankers being rewarded despite their management missteps. And they say the Greek government is forgoing billions of euros in potential revenue with the way the stock offering is being handled.
    OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!!

  9. There is only one thing missing in the photo above–there should be a cage around this band of wolves–all now licking their chops to go out with political immunity and slaughter the sheep. What a bunch of ‘gliphtous mal–kes’! The same recycled toxic waste!