No Cabinet Reshuffle in the Cards for Mitsotakis Seen Yet


The Maximos Mansion. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Yiannis Panagopoulos)

ATHENS - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will not - for now - change the makeup of his Cabinet after indicating he would, aides saying that reports based on his hint of a reshuffle were inaccurate - for now.

They weren’t named but Kathimerini said they said that no decision on revising his makeup of ministers will be taken under after the European Commission’s recovery funds for Greece are finalized.

Until that time, there won’t be any changes they said, because the New Democracy leader first wants to see what’s in the cards from the EU in terms of financial help in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown that brought to a screeching halt an economic rebound.

The newspaper, which had said the reshuffle was imminent, said it was based on what he hinted to reporters during his visit to Israel that “corrections” would be made to his government, his office not explaining the contradiction.

That came as his government lauded as “especially significant” Mitsotakis’ participation in a teleconference on Bloomberg TV where he said that Greece, which had one of the best records in dealing with the Coronavirus because of an early lockdown, would come back.

He said there will be an “extremely strong recovery in 2021.” Growth of as much as 3 percent had been expected this year, a rebound accelerating after a near decade-long economic and austerity crisis, before the pandemic hit.

The conference was led by the  news agency’s owner and former Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg who cited economic reforms that Mitsotakis was bringing before the lockdown although the major rival Radical Left SYRIZA said he brought a recession.

Bloomberg also noted that Mitsotakis’ government pumped 17.5 billion euros ($19.69 billion) into subsidies to help workers laid off during the pandemic and businesses, the benefits keeping them afloat

Bloomberg said the reforms contributed to improving the confidence of investors in Greece, describing the country as an example to be imitated, the paper said, as foreign companies were showing interest after being stymied by the former ruling anti-business SYRIZA.

Mitsotakis stressed that after the successful handling of the pandemic, the next big challenge “is to overcome the impending financial storm,” with the country hoping and praying that tourists will come, the sector the country’s biggest revenue engine.

Mitsotakis noted that the first quarter of 2020 “was difficult but not catastrophic,” as “the Greek economy shrank by 0.9 percent when the average contraction in the Eurozone was 3.6 percent.”

He again called out to foreign investors to come to Greece, promising political stability after rejecting any suggestion of early elections that could bring volatility and keep businesses away, watching what would happen.