All ahead for the conclusion of the third program review, but not for a government reshuffle
The Eurogroup meeting, due to be held next Monday is considered to be a formality for the conclusion of the third program review, after the vote held in the Greek Parliament on the program’s final prerequisite measures.
The Prime Minister’s office appears satisfied as the government managed to sail through these difficult waters on the way out of the memorandum, but at the same time through the vote was able to strengthen its parliamentary power from 153 MPs to 154.
This was happened as the independent MP Mrs. Theodora Megaloikonomou voted in favour of the package of the prerequisite measures, something she had also done during the vote for the budget of 2018 and immediately joined ranks -as a co-operating member- with the SYRIZA parliamentary group. This development makes the government believe that in the coming period it may further expand its parliamentary influence.
It is no coincidence that Alexis Tsipras sent out a message of optimism to his party, saying that a very difficult cycle is closing. He also predicted that 2018 would be a historic year.
Immediately after the conclusion of the third review, the debate on the specification of the medium-term measures for the settlement of the Greek debt is expected to begin. Also, in March, the fourth program review will begin, which essentially coincides with the negotiation of how the country will exit the memorandum. The fourth review will mainly focus on privatizations.
Meanwhile, the government does not confirm that there will be a government reshuffle, information that is reinforced by the fact that Alexis Tsipras did not appoint a substitute in the post of resigned Deputy Minister of Education. Kostas Zouraris’s responsibilities were passed on to Education Minister Kostas Gavroglou. The prime minister accepted the resignation of Mr.Zouraris after consulting with Independent Greeks (ANEL) President Mr.Panos Kammenos. The former deputy minister had made inappropriate statements about the fans of Aris and Olympiacos football teams.