New Appointments and Priorities: Greece's Prime Minister Forms Cabinet to Tackle Economic Challenges and Foster Diplomacy


In the aftermath of a resounding victory in Sunday's election, Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has appointed Kostis Hatzidakis as the nation's new finance minister. Hatzidakis, aged 58, previously held the position of labour minister leading up to the election and also served as the minister of environment and energy in Mitsotakis's initial administration from 2019 to 2021.

During this time, he successfully implemented a rescue plan for Public Power Corp SA, Greece's primary power provider, following concerns raised by auditors EY regarding the company's ability to sustain its operations. Furthermore, he contributed as development minister during Greece's bailout programs between 2012 and 2014.

Hatzidakis's primary objective is to ensure that Greece's budget achieves sustainable primary surpluses, sufficient to service its debt costs as agreed upon with the country's official lenders during the bailout programs. Additionally, he is tasked with guiding the Greek economy towards regaining its investment grade status, which it lost 13 years ago, and ensuring the smooth absorption of post-pandemic Recovery and Resilience Facility funds.

Giorgos Gerapetritis, aged 56, will assume the position of Greece's next foreign minister. His key responsibility will be to seek common ground with Turkey in order to address longstanding disputes between the two countries, including matters pertaining to maritime boundaries. Recent months have witnessed a significant easing of tensions between Greece and Turkey, partly attributed to Greece's prompt assistance to its neighbour following a devastating earthquake in February. Dialogue between the two nations is set to resume in the near future, with hopes of averting conflicts similar to those experienced in the summer of 2020, when the two nations came perilously close to military confrontation.

Having previously served as minister of state and earning the trust of Mitsotakis, Gerapetritis brings expertise as a constitutional rights professor and a former visiting fellow at Oxford University.

In light of the deadliest train crash in Greek history occurring in February, Mitsotakis has designated Gerapetritis as transport minister to oversee the resumption of train operations. The role of finance minister will be assumed by Christos Staikouras, who previously held the position. Nikolaos Dendias, the outgoing foreign minister, will now assume the crucial role of defence minister, which holds significance for Greek-Turkish relations.

Additionally, the prime minister has established a new ministry for social cohesion and family, while also increasing the overall representation of female ministers and deputy ministers within his cabinet.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024