Meeting at Maximos Mansion on May 29, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his deputy and coalition partner, PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos, discussed their setbacks in May’s double elections, and set aside plans for a major Cabinet shake-up.
After meeting for around two hours, the two party leaders are said to have agreed to postpone any changes to the Cabinet’s current composition until after Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras‘ June 11 meeting with his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schauble, in Berlin.
However, even if Stournaras keeps his position for negotiations with Greece’s international partners on the country’s debt, a minor reshuffle could still take place. Stournaras has reportedly been tabbed to move on and take over as Bank of Greece governor from Giorgos Provopoulos.
Venizelos said the country’s top bank position wasn’t fully discussed because Samaras had to leave to attend a social obligation.
The government is also said to be waiting for Greece’s EU presidency to officially conclude on June 30, as the two said there is business that needs to be completed before new ministers are appointed. Greece’s symbolic role heading the EU for six months has accomplished little.
Exiting the Maximos Mansion, Venizelos told journalists that the government has fully understood the message the Greek people sent with their ballots, while underlining that any cabinet reshuffle takes time and can’t be dictated by journalistic schedules.
“With the prime minister, we had a systematic discussion on the election outcome and the message the Greeks sent. It is our obligation to respond to the citizens needs,” Venizelos said.
He didn’t say what that meant or how he and Samaras would yet react to the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) winning the European Parliament elections, which led the rival leader, Alexis Tsipras, to demand early national elections, a call they rejected.
Venizelos said once again there’s a need for security and stability so as to conclude Greece’s efforts of exiting the economic crisis the two parties largely created with wild overspending and runaway patronage for decades.
Government spokesperson Simos Kedikoglou told reporters that Samaras and Venizelos agreed on speeding up the work done by the government, and acknowledged that corrective measures should be taken to redress any injustices. He didn’t say why that hadn’t been done until now.