Greece’s new government was sworn into office on Wednesday, after this weekend’s second general election win in 2015 for Alexis Tsipras and his left-wing Syriza Party.
The mostly unchanged Cabinet saw the reappointment as finance minister of Euclid Tsakalotos in a move that will assure European partners that Athens will not backtrack on its cash for reforms deal.
Tsakalotos was in the post this summer when Greece agreed to creditors’ tough conditions in return for an 86 billion euro bailout – the country’s third.
“The markets will see this positively,” said Takis Zamanis, chief trader at Beta Securities in Athens. “It appeared the chemistry was right between Tsakalotos and lenders.”
His deputy will be George Chouliarakis – himself a senior member of the negotiation team that agreed to the deal in August.
Handling the refugee problem is another key challenge for the new government.
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 Organisation for Migration.
Many of Greece’s partners, particularly in eastern Europe, want Athens to stop allowing the refugees to pass north on a trek to Germany and other wealthy northern countries.
Tsipras has appointed Yiannis Mouzalas, an active member of the Doctors of the World charity, as minister for migration within the interior ministry.
Following today’s swearing-in ceremony, Tsipras was headed for Brussels to discuss the migration crisis with fellow European leaders.