World News

Greek PM rejigs cabinet, retains key ministers

FILE PHOTO: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis gestures as he meets with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Athens, Greece, July 21, 2020. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis rejigged his cabinet on Tuesday to help his country manage effectively European funds that it has secured to tackle the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conservative premier wants to make the government scheme more efficient as the country tackles the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that has hurt its fragile economy emerging from a decade-long debt crisis.

“With these changes (the government) seeks more effective administration of an increase in community funds,” government Spokesman Stelios Petsas said.

Athens will be allocated around 72 billion euros, part of a 750 billion euro recovery fund that the European Union agreed last month to help members’ economies blighted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The changes will also help protect workers and the pension system and help the government better tackle the “challenges of our times”, Petsas said.

Key ministers, including Finance Minister Christos Staikouras and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias remained in their posts. It is the first cabinet reshuffle since Mitsotakis won elections in July 2019.

Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Michele Kambas