News World Greek PM gives his cabinet a touch-up ahead of 2019 elections

Greek PM gives his cabinet a touch-up ahead of 2019 elections

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras lightly rejigged his cabinet on Tuesday ahead of a general election next year to shore up ebbing support from a public battered by austerity from financial bailouts.

Tsipras kept Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, who steered Greece‘s exit from its third bailout, and Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, who was instrumental in brokering an accord ending years of dispute with neighbouring FYROM over its name. Defence Minister Panos Kammenos also kept his job.

The leftist leader switched some ministers around and brought a few new faces to his cabinet including two politicians active in past Socialist administrations. He appointed Myrsini Zorba, a professor of cultural theory, as culture minister.

Interior minister Panos Skourletis, a party stalwart, became the Central Committee Secretary of Tsipras’s Syriza party, and is tasked with reversing a slump in its popularity ratings.

Skourletis was replaced by Alexis Haritsis, who previously served as alternate economy minister.

After criticism over the handling of a huge wildfire last month which killed 97 people, Tsipras moved his administrative reform minister Olga Gerovasili to the Civil Protection ministry. He gave her portfolio to former Socialist foreign minister Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou.

Tsipras appointed the government’s general secretary Michalis Kalogirou as new justice minister and promoted alternate defence minister Fotis Kouvelis by giving him the shipping portfolio.

Tsipras told his party’s central committee on Monday evening that the changes were aimed at breathing new life into the party and the government ahead of 2019, a year of elections and fresh political challenges.

He ruled out a snap vote, saying that “the mother of all battles” would take place in the autumn of 2019, as planned, after European Parliament elections. Greece holds parliamentary elections every four years and opinion polls show the conservatives enjoying a wide lead over Syriza

Top Stories

Schools close only if we say so, Prodromou notes

  Five hundred pupils have missed classes due to the Covid-19 pandemic, said education minister Prodromos Prodromou, making clear that there was no need for...

Famagusta hospital Covid patients rise to 24, four in increased care

  The number of Covid 19 patients being treated at the Famagusta General, the referral hospital for coronavirus, remained at 24, (22 yesterday) four of...

Turkish VP Octay illegally visits fenced off city of Varosha

  Turkish Vice President Fuat Octay walked along the beachfront of the fenced off city of Varosha today, part of which was illegally opened earlier...

18 people given preferential citizenships in casino resort, says Auditor General

  The Auditor General's Office has accused the government of bending the rules on the citizenships for investment programme, by granting passports outside the framework...

Kakoratzia state forest fire put out before spreading

  A fast forest fire service response prevented a potentially destructive fire from spreading this morning. It broke out at the Falkonopetra area of the Kakoratzia...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...