Greek PM sends clear message to new cabinet that deal must close by December 5

7 November 2016
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Greek PM Alexis Tsipras sent a clear message during the first meeting of the newly appointed cabinet to his Ministers that the second review of the program with the country’s creditors must be completed by the December 5 EuroGroup meeting. During his address to the new cabinet, the Greek PM avoided any reference to “red lines” on the part of the Greek side in the upcoming talks with the lenders. The PM’s choices in the new cabinet reflect his urgency to expedite the necessary reforms and satisfy the creditors’ demands in the negotiations in order to seal a deal with the institutions at all costs. It became obvious that Tsipras has effectively accepted what the creditors had been arguing in talks that in order for the Greek economy to be reinvigorated reforms aimed at boosting investments must be implemented at any cost.

The new Labour Minister, 31-year-old Efi Achtsiouglou, who will be charged with striking a deal on the thorny social security matter and the labour issues, is considered a favourable choice on the part of the creditors and signifies thee clear intentions of the government to push forward with the needed reforms.

The Greek PM’s choices to place former Economy Minister George Stathakis, someone who is seen as pro-reforms and in favour of reaching a deal with the creditors, in charge of the Energy Ministry, coupled with former head of the Privatisation Assets Fund (TAIPED) Stergios Pistioloas as Deputy Minister, is another indication that Tsipras is trying to speed up the process.

Meanwhile, his move to offer the Economy portfolio to Dimitris Papadimitriou, a man considered to have pro-American influences, on the one hand, accompanied by the removal of Thodoris Dritsas from the Maritime Ministry, a politician opposing privatisations, is an attempt to send a strong message to international investors that his new cabinet will be more business friendly.

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