Greek Government The New Cabinet - The Best from Greece
Posted on: 18/Oct/2009
Deputy Prime Minister
Interior, decentralisation and e-governance ministry
Minister: Yiannis Ragousis
Alternate: Dinos Rovlias
Deputy: Theodora Tzakri
The former, and very successful, secretary and spokesman of the party, Ragousis has rapidly risen through the Pasok ranks and has been given the most significant ministry. He is expected to carry out the ambitious plan of streamlining bureaucracy and will be responsible for the simplification of relations between the state and its citizens. He has no previous governmental experience, but is widely acknowledged to have played a crucial role in the party’s landslide victory.
Minister: Yiorgos Papakonstantinou
Deputy: Filippos Sachinidis
“Papakonstantinou has the right academic credentials to do the job,” a foreign political analyst reported after the elections - the very same reasoning that led Papandreou to appoint him finance minister. A graduate of the London School of Economics and New York University, he assumes the great responsibility of tackling an economy on the verge of recession. His other great challenge will be the likely drafting of a 2010 budget by the end of the month. He must succeed in convincing Brussels to give Greece more time to bring its deficit - estimated this year at more than 6 percent above the eurozone’s 3-percent-of-GDP cap.
Economy, competitiveness and merchant marine ministry
Minister: Louka Katseli
Deputy: Stavros Arnaoutakis
Deputy: Markos Bolaris
An economic advisor to former prime minister Andreas Papandreou, Katseli is another minister who faces a demanding challenge. She will be aware that she has no grace period in drafting policies to avoid economic recession. The 57-year-old helped draft the tax-and-spend economic plan that appealed to Greek voters and played a significant role in returning the socialists to power. She will be chiefly responsible for the prudent deployment of EU resources and implementation of an appropriate development plan. A graduate of Princeton University, she is married to Yerasimos Arsenis, one of the most prominent former Pasok politicians.
Labour and social insurance
Minister: Andreas Loverdos
Deputy: Yiorgos Koutroumanis
Minister: George Papandreou
Alternate: Dimitris Droutsas
Deputy: Spyros Kouvelis
Papandreou proved his eagerness to personally deal with the most significant issues of Greek foreign relations by appointing himself as the new foreign minister, despite the fact that this can only be a temporary solution. But the appointment of Dimitris Droutsas as deputy foreign minister vouches for an active, realistic, coherent and effective foreign policy. Born in Nicosia, Cyprus, Droutsas has concentrated his studies and his political career so far on the goal of ending the partition of Cyprus. In 1998 he became the legal advisor to the Austrian foreign minister and, later, Austrian chancellor, Wolfgang Schussel. The following year, he returned to Greece and participated in Papandreou’s effort to convince his European allies that Cyprus should be granted full EU membership.
Agricultural development and food ministry
Minister: Katerina Batzeli
Deputy: Michalis Karchimakis
Minister: Evangelos Venizelos
Alternate: Panos Beglitis
The appointment of Venizelos as defence minister could be the opening chapter of a political thriller. After the damaging defeat of the socialists in the September 2007 elections, Venizelos put forward his nomination for the Pasok presidency, challenging Papandreou’s effectiveness to run the party. A talented constitutional law professor, he entered politics as a legal advisor to former prime minister Andreas Papandreou in the late 1980s. He is one of the few members of the new cabinet that has governmental experience and is expected to be influential within the formulation of the country’s foreign policy.
Education, lifelong learning and religion ministry
Minister: Anna Diamantopoulou
Deputy: Yiannis Panaretos
Deputy: Evi Christofilopoulou
Ministry for the protection of citizens
Minister: Michalis Chrysohoidis
Deputy: Spyros Vouyias
Infrastructure, transport and networks ministry
Minister: Dimitris Reppas
Deputy: Yiannis Magriotis
Deputy: Nikos Sifounakis
Reppas has noteworthy political and governmental experience. He joined the Pasok in 1974 and has served as a minister in numerous significant posts. As infrastructure minister, he is expected to establish transparency in all public works and ensure equal relations between the government and major contractors. He was one of the strongest political supporters of the new prime minister when he underwent difficulties in his own party. He is a graduate of the Dental School of Athens.
Health and social policy ministry
Minister: Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou
Deputy: Fofi Yennimata
Environment, energy and climate change ministry
Minister: Tina Birbili
Deputy: Yiannis Maniatis
Deputy: Thanos Moraitis
Papandreou astonished nearly everyone when he appointed his “favourite political protege”, Tina Birbili, aged 39 and with no previous government experience, as the new environment and energy minister. If you take a closer look, though, you will find that Papandreou’s commitment to promoting sustainable and green development policies should be attributed to Birbili’s efforts to convince her own party - not its leader - that environmental issues must be central to its strategy. She has also served as advisor to Papandreou when he was foreign minister.
Justice, transparency and human rights ministry
Minister: Haris Kastanidis
Deputy: Apostolos Katsifaras
A professor at the law school of the University of Athens, Haralambos Pamboukis should be considered the prime minister’s alter ego. In his early 50s and a graduate of the University of Sorbonne in France, he will be responsible for the horizontal coordination of the different ministries and their jurisdictions and will elaborate the strategic choices of the government in all the critical spheres of the policy making.
Culture and tourism ministry
Minister: Pavlos Yeroulanos
Deputy: Angela Gerekou
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