Syriza sources say Euclid Tsakalotos will be Greece finance minister

Victorious Alexis Tsipras set to announce new cabinet

Alexis Tsipras arrives at the presidential palace in Athens on Monday. Photograph: Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg

Alexis Tsipras arrives at the presidential palace in Athens on Monday. Photograph: Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg

 

Euclid Tsakalotos is to be reappointed as Greek finance minister in Alexis Tsipras’s new cabinet, a senior source in the leftist Syriza party said on Tuesday.

The source, who declined to be named, told Reuters that the Oxford-trained economist would be included in the cabinet line-up expected to be announced by Tuesday evening.

Tsakalotos helped negotiate Greece’s €86 billion bailout from international lenders this year, yanking Greece from the brink of bankruptcy and ejection from the euro zone.

Media reports earlier on Tuesday suggested Tsakalotos was having second thoughts about taking the post again.

The reports gave no reason, but Mr Tsakalotos, a Dutch-born British-educated Marxist economist, is a member of the so called ‘53+’ faction in Syriza, some of whose members recently expressed concerns over how the party was moving away from core leftist values in favour of holding on to power.

The new cabinet’s two main tasks will be to ensure that the €86 billion bailout given by the euro zone in exchange for deep economic reforms does not go off track, and to handle Greece’s huge refugee problem.

Of the record 430,000 refugees and migrants who have made the journey across the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, 309,000 have arrived via Greece, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Many of Greece’s partners, particularly in eastern Europe, want Greece to stop allowing the refugees to pass north on a trek to Germany and other wealthy northern countries.

Balancing the books

But it is the implementation of the bailout - agreed after months of bitter negotiations in which Tsipras railed against austerity being imposed on Greece - that will be the government’s overwhelming task.

Factions like ‘53+’ notwithstanding, Tsipras’ re-election on Sunday made his party the dominant force in Greece with his harshest hard-left rebels failing to make it into parliament.

Alexis Tsipras now has the chance to correct the mistakes of his (first) term,” centre-left newspaper Ta Nea said in an editorial.

“His first cabinet was marked by Syriza’s big appointments, such as Yanis Varoufakis, which had particularly bad results. It was also marked by a need to preserve inner party balances which brought the hard left ... lawmakers to important ministerial posts.”

Tsipras is also considering whether to create a bailout commission, a high-level group to back up the finance ministry.

Reuters