Greek Crisis: Shipping And Economy Minister Retained After Cabinet Reshuffle

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The two prime overlords of the shipping industry have retained their portfolios in the first reshuffling of cabinet by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.  The Greek Prime Minister is planning to seek a vote of confidence from his fractious Socialist party for pushing an austerity package and avoid default.

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Economy minister George Stathakis and Shipping Minister Thodoris Dritsas have survived after the Greek cabinet reshuffle.  The cabinet reshuffle appeared to be relatively minor and resulted in the replacement of only two ministers and three deputy ministers.

Tsipras is planning to seek a vote before parliament on Wednesday on the second package of measures demanded by international creditors for the new bailout deal of 86 billion euros and ward off the threat of a forced exit from the euro.  The government is expected to wrap up the bailout talks with the lending institutions, the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund by August 20.  Earlier, 39 Syriza lawmakers who refused to back the measures revolted against Tsipras for the tax hikes, market reforms and spending cuts.  They also raised questions over the stability of the government.    

Along with the coalition partners, Tsipras has 162 seats in the 300-seat parliament.  But due to the last week’s rebellion, the number has come down to just 123 votes and any further defections may put pressure on the prospects for reform.  

Reproving the bailout, Syriza hardliner Rudi Rinaldi resigned from the party’s 13-member political committee.  He also expressed that adding more austerity on to the afflicted Greek economy would pile up more hardship and would not keep the country in the euro.  Some government officials have felt that Tsipras need to resign if support dropped below 120 MPs.  But it is also felt that if confidence voting would actually happen, Tsipras could certainly win with the backing of the pro-European opposition parties.

To accelerate the lengthy judicial processes and cutting costs, the bailout has included new rules for the country’s civil justice system.  Also, Greek shipowners await to know if the hike in taxes in shipping industry will be implemented.

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