ATHENS,, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 05th Nov, 2016 ) - A new Greek government was sworn in on Saturday after a minor reshuffle designed to help push through obligatory but unpopular financial reforms. "We have the chance for a fresh start, to get the necessary boost needed to run the last crucial metres of a marathon", Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Saturday. The reshuffle Friday left in place most key government posts, including that of Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos who is leading tense talks with Greece's international creditors.
But local reports said the revamp, which notably handed Greece's former privatisation chief Stergios Pitsiorlas the post of junior economy minister, was designed to demonstrate Athens' intent to forge ahead with bailout commitments. Several anti-privatisation partisans were also moved out of key posts but remained in government. After only a year into a four-year term, Tsipras has seen his popularity wane following a new round of tax hikes and pension cuts.
The 42-year-old was elected in 2015 on his pledge to tear up prior austerity agreements but was forced to reverse course and signed onto another bailout requiring additional fiscal cuts. Eurozone creditors announced last month they were releasing a 2.8 billion euro tranche of the 86-billion-euro loan agreement, the third since the country was engulfed by debt in 2010. Athens is eager to receive the latest tranche and complete a second review by the end of the year, which would then trigger talks on reducing the country's huge debt load, despite reluctance from powerhouse Germany. Tsipras hopes the economy will rebound from recession this year, and has pinned his hopes on debt relief from Greece's international creditors.