Unconfirmed media reports swirled in Athens on Wednesday over the prospect of a Cabinet reshuffle, ostensibly to be announced within the next few hours or possibly on Thursday. The same media speculation cited prominent changes in ministry portfolios.
Ruling New Democracy (ND) party and incumbent Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis easily won two back-to-back general elections last May and June, with the electoral result of the latter allowing the formation of a majority government. Moreover, Mitsotakis and his government appear to have a weakened and fragmented opposition facing them, at least according to opinion poll results.
Since then, however, the center-right government has faced a series of challenges, such as widespread flood damage to central Greece in early September, deadly hooligan violence in tandem with a public opinion perception of rising crime rates, as well as stubborn inflation, especially in food prices.
At the same time, the coming legislative period will see the tabling of two to three ground-breaking pieces of draft bills, such as allowing absentee voting, bypassing a constitutional article to finally allow the opening of non-state and non-profit higher education institutions in the country, and lastly, possibly legalizing same-sex marriage.
According to in.gr, former minister Takis Theodorikakos’ name has been repeatedly mentioned as assuming the labor and social insurances’ portfolio, in place of prominent ND minister Adonis Georgiadis.
At the same time, the name of the very outspoken Georgiadis is being circulated as taking over the health ministry in place of Michalis Chrysohoidis.
The center of political speculation revolves around the public order portfolio, which uses the milder name of citizens’ protection ministry, with Chrysohoidis supposedly ready to return to a post he first held more than 20 years ago in a then PASOK government.
Sources said Mitsotakis intends to convey a signal for a “restart” in the new year, following a sluggish start to the government’s second tenure, especially in areas involving citizens’ daily routine, health, law and order and labor issues.