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New Greek Government Sworn-in After Minor Reshuffle

  • VOA News

Greece Cabinet Reshuffle: Newly appointed ministers and deputy ministers take an oath as Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, center right, and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, center left, look on, during a swearing in ceremony at the Presidential palace in Athens , Saturday, Oct. 5, 2016.

Greece Cabinet Reshuffle: Newly appointed ministers and deputy ministers take an oath as Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, center right, and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, center left, look on, during a swearing in ceremony at the Presidential palace in Athens , Saturday, Oct. 5, 2016.

A new Greek cabinet was sworn in Saturday after a minor reshuffle designed to speed-up reforms that Athens has agreed to implement under its latest international bailout deal.

Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras signaled he would continue on the fiscal course agreed with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

“We have the opportunity for a fresh start that will give us the necessary impetus for the last critical steps of a marathon leading us to brighter days," Tsipras said.

Tsipras reassigned his ministers around late Friday, but brought few new faces to his cabinet.

The reshuffle left in place Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos who is leading tense talks with Greece's international creditors.

Tsipras appointed Dimitris Liakos, the chief of his economic office and a former fund manager, as the minister responsible for the implementation of Greece's bailout program.

The head of Greece's privatization agency, Stergios Pitsiorlas, was appointed deputy minister under Dimitris Papadimitrou, economist and president of the Levy Economics Institute, who was handed the post of economy and development minister.

Several anti-privatization cabinet members were also moved out of key posts but remained in government.

The conservative New Democracy opposition party called the reshuffle a "recycling of the same corrupt faces." Spokesman George Koumoutsakos said "for Greece and its citizens, there are no prospects by this dangerous government."

After only a year into a four-year term, Tsipras has seen his popularity dropped, following a new round of tax hikes and pension cuts.

The 42-year-old leader of the left-wing party Syriza was elected in 2015 on his pledge to tear up prior austerity agreements but was forced to reverse course and signed onto another bailout requiring additional fiscal cuts.

Eurozone creditors announced last month they were releasing a 2.8 billion euro instalment of the 86-billion-euro loan agreement, the third since the country was engulfed by debt in 010.



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