Samaras cabinet to be announced
The new Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaras, is due to reveal the makeup of his cabinet today. Although New Democracy, along with its coalition partners, PASOK and the Democratic Left, now have a majority of 29 seats, it is by no means certain that the new government will be an effective one. The two left-wing parties have refused to allow their MPs to join the cabinet, although they have signed an agreement to support the coalition.
Reports are that the new cabinet will be more stream-lined, with only 28 ministers and deputies; this compares with the 49 positions in the last government. However, new ministries are expected to be created for the high revenue earning portfolios of tourism and merchant shipping.
Although the new finance minister is widely expected to be National Bank President, Vassilis Rapanos, it will be outgoing minister, Giorgios Zannias, who will attend Thursday’s meeting of EU finance ministers in Luxembourg. There will be intense pressure for Greece to introduce measures promised at the time of the second bailout.