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Greece

Greece reshuffles same old faces

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 02:18

June 25 - Greece's government has announced a reshuffle after the smallest party in the coaltion quit last week. It leaves the PM with a slim majority. Joanna Partridge looks at what impact it will have on attempts to quell the euro zone debt crisis.

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A new cabinet for Greece after a government reshuffle. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras swore in a new set of ministers. He's now in a two-party coalition - the small Democratic Left quit last week over the government's decision to close the state broadcaster ERT. The reduced coalition now has a parliamentary majority of just 3 - making new measures hard to implement. The cabinet also has more ministers from the junior coalition member, the Socialist PASOK party. Their leader Evangelos Venizelos - a former Finance Minister - is now foreign minister and deputy PM. Some see the same old faces back in power. But Samaras told his new cabinet there was no time to waste if they wanted to avoid any fresh austerity measures. SOUNDBITE: Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, saying (Greek): "There's a lot of constitutional reform that needs to start in the next few years and be completed by the end of the three year term. Greece has no time to lose, in a very short amount of time we must do what hasn't ever been done in the previous decades and this is what we're already doing. And now we must proceed with a faster pace and with more effort." Samaras' main aim is reviving the Greek economy by cutting unemployment and bringing in investment. A new coalition agreement will be drawn up in the next few days. Samaras says it won't affect Greece's bailout. But after six years of recession he is hoping its lenders will ease the debt burden. Henk Potts from Barclays says things are looking up. SOUNDBITE: Henk Potts, Equity Strategist, Barclays, saying (English): "They've made incredible progress in terms of dealing with its budget deficit, alongside that its economy is becoming more competitive, labour market costs have come down, we also know that tourism revenue continues to rise, in fact it could be at a record level during the course of this year. Financial markets are open to Greece once again." Many other challenges remain. Greece's troika of lenders will resume their assessment later this month. And ERT journalists say they'll continue their fight to save jobs. Its recent closure led to the reshuffle. They want the new government to sort out the mess.

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Greece reshuffles same old faces

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 02:18