Greece: New Government, New Beginning

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis addressed his new Cabinet following a swearing-in ceremony, emphasising that the economy and public order would top his government’s agenda. In a public speech after the first meeting of his Cabinet, Karamanlis said that tough times lie ahead for the country. “There are no easy solutions; we have an uphill struggle ahead of us as 2009 is going to be a difficult year. The global economic storm is unprecedented in post-war years,” stressing that “we are determined to succeed.” The premier outlined five priorities: boosting liquidity in the economy, protecting jobs, supporting the poor, continuing reforms that will help growth and ensuring that EU funds are used to help employment and growth in rural areas. The government is creating a new beginning, with a step towards renewal and continuity. “We don’t care about impressions, but about substantive results,” the premier said, adding that both the experience of the old and the dynamism of new members would be put to good use. The goal is to provide efficiency, stability, certainty and security to the citizens. Kathimerini daily: PM sets out priorities for new ministers & Karamanlis reshuffle a mixed bag; Greek News Agenda: Cabinet Reshuffled 

Inter-ministerial Economic Policy Committee Convenes

Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis decided on Thursday to set up an Inter-ministerial Economic Policy Committee which will be responsible for systematic monitoring and coordination of the government’s policy in the sectors of the economy, finance and development. The committee will be headed by the premier himself and participating members include Finance and Economy Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou, Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis and Environment, Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias. The committee – which meets today for the first time – convenes at the Prime Minister’s Office and the Bank of Greece’s governor will be present. Relevant ministers will also be invited to the committee’s sessions in accordance with the issues being examined in future meetings.