Greek finance minister's job discussed under pending reshuffle-sources

ATHENS, June 2 Mon Jun 2, 2014 12:16pm EDT

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ATHENS, June 2 (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will reshuffle his cabinet as early as this week in a bid to wrest back political momentum and his widely respected finance minister could be among those set to depart, government officials told Reuters.

Four government officials said Samaras was discussing whether to keep Yannis Stournaras as finance minister, with one official saying it had been decided that he would leave, though the others cautioned that no final decision had been made yet.

Stournaras himself is eager to leave the finance ministry after the twin successes of Athens returning to the bond market after four years and reporting a primary budget surplus, though he is also considered best placed to lead crucial debt relief talks later this year, two other senior officials told Reuters.

If he were to leave, Stournaras is expected to go to the Bank of Greece, where governor George Provopoulos's term expires on June 21, two officials said.

Asked last week whether Stournras would stay to draft the budget later this year, he said: "This is for the prime minister to decide." (Reporting by Renee Maltezou, Lefteris Papadimas and Deepa Babington)

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