ATHENS -- Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas on Tuesday announced a small number of changes to the composition of the government, described as functional improvements, mainly at the level of deputy ministers.
"The prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is completing the government formation, which remains unchanged in terms of its numbers and its reform policy directions," Petsas said, noting that the changes concern the finance, development, labour, health and environment sectors.
There were five changes in total, among them the promotions of Theodoros Skylakakis from deputy finance minister to Alternate Finance Minister responsible for fiscal policy and of Nikos Papathanasis from deputy development and investments minister to Alternate Development and Investments minister for private investment and public- and private-sector partnerships (PPPs).
New additions to the government were Panagiotis Tsakloglou, who becomes deputy labour and social affairs minister in charge of social insurance, the MP Zoi Rapti who will be deputy minister for health responsible for mental health issues and MP Nikolaos Tagaras as deputy environment and energy minister responsible for environmental protection.
Petsas said the changes aim at an effective management of the now increased Community funds, to support labour and the social insurance system, provide organisational support to the health ministry and, finally, effectively protecting the environment and deal with the challeges of climate change.
"Kyriakos Mitsotakis is selected people from parliament and society, of different ages and experience, based on ability and a willingness to contribute regardless of ideological background," the spokesperson noted.
"In the face of the challenges of the times, an already successful government formation is undergoing functional improvements decided by the prime minister, so as to meet the expectations of citizens with even greater efficiency," he added.
Petsas said the new members of the government will be sworn in at 13:00 on Wednesday, at the presidential mansion.
Changes improve an already successful government team, sources say
Government sources on Tuesday noted that the changes announced to the composition of the cabinet improve an already successful team and are "proof of the prime minister's flexibility," as he was rearranging this team in order to deal with the new challenges. Earlier on Tuesday, government spokesperson Stelios Petsas announced a series of "functional improvements" to the government's composition on Tuesday, with the addition of three new members and two promotions of deputy ministers.
As the same sources said, after a year of intense and productive operation, the prime minister filled in some gaps in the government's composition, which remained the same in terms of the number of ministers and its policy direction.
They said that the reason for those initiatives was obvious. The effective management of the increased EU funds create powerful roles in the finance and development ministry portfolios, while the health crisis and a plan for a new national health system call for the organisational support of the health ministry. The need to reinforce the team at the labour ministry was also clear given that employment and new jobs are a government priority, they said.
Referring to the nature of the corrective action taken, the sources said they clearly reflect Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' fixed position for the selection of persons from parliament and from society, of different ages and experience, based on their skills and their willingness to contribute, irrespective of their ideological background.
"The forces are being regrouped, in order to respond to the new conditions. There have, in any case, been similar reorganisations within the government before, such as the formation of the migration and asylum ministry or the appointment of a deputy defence minister," they added.