ATHENS - Hitting the ground running after easily winning July 7 snap elections over the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, Greece’s new Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis will give his ministers a deadline for results and said they would have to adhere to a code of conduct.
Former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras let his ministers often run amok and shoot off their mouths about issues outside their jurisdiction and make wildly provocative statements and with hardcore elements undercutting his hope to bring in more foreign investors.
Each minister is to be given a six-month plan stating specific objectives that will have to be met by December and explaining how progress is to be evaluated, said Kathimerini, adding that he also is expected to ban the hiring of relatives - which had been common under all governments, including previous New Democracy regimes.
Mitsotakis is also expected to tell his ministers that spouses and children of government officials will be barred from signing contracts with the state, while ministers, their deputies and general secretaries will not be allowed to hold outside jobs.
“We won the battle of ideas with our policy program about a better Greece. Now it is time to unite all Greeks behind a shared vision,” said Mitsotakis.
“As of today, we are demonstrating in practice that we are ready. Work has already begun,” he said, expressing his confidence in the capabilities of the new government.
“We are called upon to win a difficult and asymmetrical war that no government has managed to win so far: changing the model of governance,” he said.
It was announced that the new premier is to visit Berlin next month following an invitation from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who telephoned him Tuesday to congratulate him. She had been the harshest taskmaster of austerity attached to three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($365.83 billion) since 2010, much of it from German banks and was so vilified in Greece that Tsipras said he’d defy her before embracing her.
Incoming Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said the new government will push for cross-party consensus on foreign policy. “Foreign policy should not be the subject of partisan confrontation,” he said. “We will safeguard the interests of the country, we will develop economic diplomacy, we will defend and strengthen our ties with diaspora Greeks.”
Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said about tension in the Eastern Mediterranean, that “Greece does not provoke and wants relations of peace and stability in the Balkans and in the wider region of the southeast Mediterranean.”