A Roundup Of First Day On Job
Government spokesperson Gabriel Sakellaridis said that the new coalition government’s goals are to begin real negotiations with Greece’s partners and at the same time tackle the humanitarian crisis and unemployment in Greece. Following the swearing-in and hand-over ceremonies the newly-appointed ministers began unfolding their agenda as well.
As such we have discovered:
Minister Nikos Kotzias in Brussels on Thursday
The newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias is scheduled to travel to Brussels on Thursday in order to participate in the EU extraordinary council of Foreign Affairs called by High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. According to reports, the meeting is going to focus on the deterioration of the security situation in eastern Ukraine.
IMMIGRATION POLICY – The Greek nationality is apparently going to be granted to all migrants’ children that were born and raised in Greece. Speaking on Wednesday to private radio «Sto Kokkino» (a SYRIZA-supported) Alternate Migration Policy Minister Tasia Christodoulopoulou said that her party has committed that it will grant the Greek citizenship to all those children that were born and raised in Greece, the so-called the second generation of migrants and «even those that were not born but came in Greece very young, attended and finished school here.»
PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM – Speaking to ANT1 TV on Wednesday Alternate Minister for Administrative Reform George Katrougalos reiterated the pledge that public sector layoffs that were unconstitutional will be cancelled. He said that the layoffs that were against the Constitution and those that have not gone through any evaluation will be cancelled as well as the availability «for example of the cleaning staff in ministries, the school guards and the teachers.» Asked about the sacked ERT workers he hesitated to respond and instead expressed his personal opinion because as he noted, the issue is not under his authority. However he did note that the issue of the former ERT staff may be examined, but that a return to ERT does not mean a return to the ERT before the black screen but to the ERT after the black screen.
DEVELOPMENT – Speaking to SKAI TV, Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis announced the government’s decision to immediately stop any privatization of the DEH, or Public Power Corporation (PPC), and the Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE). Asked if the government will reduce energy tariffs, he said that this will be attempted in an effort to boost competitiveness and help Greek households. When questioned if all these measures would trigger problems in the negotiations with Greece’s partners, he said that the government is held accountable only to the Greek people.
At the same time he pointed out that among SYRIZA’s first priorities are measures to intercept the humanitarian and social crisis.
EDUCATION – The new Alternate Minister of Education Tasos Kourakis announced a series of extensive reforms which is claims will be implemented in the education immediately. In an interview to the SYRIZA Sto Kokkino radio station on Tuesday he pointed out that “collective action” is necessary in order to implement changes with the best possible results. As expected the “eternal students” legislation which was introduced by the previous government will be scrapped, allowing university students to complete their studies without any time restrictions and university transfers will also be facilitated. He also said that the new government will rehire all secondary education and vocational school teachers who were dismissed in 2014 after a number of specializations were abolished.
LOANS – The newly-appointed Minister of Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism Giorgos Stathakis announced a change in policy on privatizations and red loans. According to him the first bill to be submitted in the new Parliament will concern red loans.
He said that while there will be many changes to the policy, positive efforts and initiatives may be further supported such as NSRF and simplifying licensing procedures for businesses.